I'm not Jennifer Lawrence.
September 9, 2014 6:12 AM   Subscribe

And I don't think I'm going to be the target of hackers anytime soon. But I am in a long distance not-really-kind-of-maybe-relationship with someone where we would like some kind of means of sharing photos and videos of a personal and sometimes-but-not-always sexy nature with one another without running into email attachment limits, needing to jump through a lot of hoops, accidentally sharing anything with the wrong people on social media, etc. What's our best bet?

Something that had good support for uploading/viewing from both Android (me) and iOS (the other party) would be preferable. Again, doesn't need to be super super super secure, but does need to be proof against, say, accidental discovery by a family member borrowing one's phone, or that sort of thing. Nothing randomly showing up in notifications, in particular, thank you Google photo backup, urgh. If it would work with fairly long (say, over 100mb or even better more) videos, that would be ideal, we're a long way away and can't always schedule webcam time well. Bonus for something that could stream instead of requiring downloads of said videos.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It's not the 'sexiest' solution, but I would look into Tresorit. It's safe, secure and you can both upload to specific folders to each other while keeping the access on your phones/pcs secure.
posted by wile e at 6:16 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Get a photo printer. Take pictures on a non connected digital camera. Take picture. Print picture. Delete picture. Snail mail it. It also keeps him from sharing the picture with others on the Internet without a little bit of work.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:26 AM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Do not go the snail mail route, as it's easy to take a photo of a photo, and all you done is spend time and money trying to circumvent digital. Which is impossible.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:07 AM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]

I am in a long distance not-really-kind-of-maybe-relationship with someone

This is definitely not the sort of person I would share risqué pictures of myself with.... but I'm obviously a prude.
posted by JenThePro at 7:19 AM on September 9, 2014 [22 favorites]

What about Snapchat? It doesn't store anything on your phone and will tell you when the person on the other end takes a screenshot (though there's nothing you can do to stop them doing it). It can do videos or photos.
posted by fight or flight at 7:28 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Or Cyberdust - which bills itself as more secure than Snapchat.
posted by COD at 7:38 AM on September 9, 2014

I have not used it myself, but from what I've read in the fallout of celebgate, Wickr has a better security model than the alternatives.
posted by adamrice at 7:38 AM on September 9, 2014

On the other end of things, consenting adults, relationship or not, often like to share all kinds of things with each other.

My wife and I either text stuff back and forth or just upload things directly to Google drive and then share out the folder (which gets around G+ and the auto backup/notifications issue, I think. We haven't had any trouble with it.) Super secure, maybe not, but secure enough. Then again, we don't typically have family members using our phones (and I am scrupulous about cleaning out my photo roll for the few occasions when my sisters have said "can we see the pictures on your phone to look for pictures from last Christmas?") Maybe I'm not worried enough, but if my Google account (that I use for EVERYTHING) gets hacked, then I'm going to have bigger problems than some pictures of me in my drawers (and they'd be identifiable, we have quite a bit of ink between the two of us).

So that's my two cents, as someone in much the same boat as you. Have fun!
posted by joycehealy at 7:43 AM on September 9, 2014

As someone who has played this game, I recommend that whatever you do, don't include your face in the photo. In fact, you probably want to obscure the room behind you and put makeup on any significant moles/scars/tattoos. If keeping your sexy media private is of the highest priority, remember that you can't trust anyone not to change, become angry, become vengeful or even to have their own secure setup. You can spend all day making sure the file transfer is secure, but if he's just keeping it on his desktop or phone, it's all for naught.
posted by theraflu at 8:07 AM on September 9, 2014 [22 favorites]

If there is any time when the concept of "security through security" applies it is when sending risque photos to someone. Assume the photos might leak and hide any identifying features so they won't be tied to you if someone unauthorized sees them. Heck, get a wig and huge shades to hide your face, or a mask. Don't include any of your posessions in the same shots that might exist in other pictures either. If you have an outfit that people have seen you in, don't use.
posted by Green With You at 8:44 AM on September 9, 2014

A) I would probably try Snapchat for this, given the description you have given. I have never used Snapchat but it deletes your photos/videos after one viewing and notifies you if screenshots were made.

B) I don't think the not-really-kind-of-maybe-relationship aspect is necessarily and automatically a problem. It depends on exactly what you mean by that. But I will say that it would matter a whole lot to me for that special someone of indeterminate relationship status to be someone with a pretty sterling character whom I personally trusted a whole lot. Because technical solutions, while not utterly meaningless, ultimately aren't going to be enough if the person on the receiving end is a douchebag.
posted by Michele in California at 10:34 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I'd just go with hiding the face, lower res, plausible deniability always. In an ideal world this wouldn't be an issue, but the world is not yet so ideal.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:35 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I read/hear "Wickr" is aimed at this market.
posted by Xhris at 10:53 AM on September 9, 2014

Nthing SnapChat. It notifies you if someone takes a screenshot of the image. It's just about perfect for your arrangement.
posted by RainyJay at 11:10 AM on September 9, 2014

Snapchat, for sure. My friend and family and I use it for sending silly videos and unflattering pictures (think, toilet shots - we're mature), but I also know that it's used for this type of things and popular for it amoung teenagers. No photo storage and you can set a timer for how long the photo/video is viewed. Also you do recieve notification if the person decides to get froggy and screen shot.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 11:27 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

My first thought was SnapChat. It's not impossible to save them, but the photos do self-delete after an amount of time you set. That may not work if you want the other person to be able to see the photo for more than a brief duration though.

I think whatever you do, do not use a service where an automatic backup is made. Do not use your iPhone, or if you do, turn off the backup/restore option and turn off syncing with iCloud. Don't use Dropbox or anything like that. If you use Android/Google, turn off syncing of photos with your Google account -- Google creates backups of your account so you can restore everything when you get a new phone.

I think it's probably wise to not include your face though. That's when people get in trouble.
posted by AppleTurnover at 12:36 PM on September 9, 2014

AlexiaSky: Get a photo printer. Take pictures on a non connected digital camera. Take picture. Print picture. Delete picture. Snail mail it. It also keeps him from sharing the picture with others on the Internet without a little bit of work.
A recent ex sent me some sexy photos of herself - by laying the prints on a couch and cellphone-snapping them. Sometimes individually; sometimes in small groups.

This is a lock that takes three days to lock and can be picked in three seconds. Not really secure.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:30 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well no. It can be digitized by a small amount of work. But no one can hack it. It isn't online inherently. Somebody can't grab the phone and accidently see. You can't text it to the wrong person or end up with a backup after it is deleted. You mail it they put it in a shoebox and yes some robber or girlfriend or something might find it. Or he may take a picture of the picture or what not. But that's not what she is worried about here.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:20 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about a shared Google account that you can upload photos to?
posted by talkingmuffin at 10:32 PM on September 9, 2014

Lucha libre!

If you were me, you would pose for such pictures only when wearing a Mexican wrestling mask and only in unidentifiable settings. For video you could speak in an incongruous Russian accent, too.

Do that and you pretty much don't care what happens to them. Ever. As long as you maintain deniability, someone (this not-really-kind-of-maybe boyfriend of yours is the most likely culprit) could post them to a public blog or sell them to horrible people or send them to your mother for all you care.

And if he isn't turned on by you in a Mexican wrestling mask speaking with a Russian accent, he's not your type. Dump him.
posted by pracowity at 2:57 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Every single one of these solutions could be hacked and your pictures posted on the internet for all to see, forever.

Even if they weren't hacked, your BF could store them and (should you split up) decide to post them on the internet for all to see, forever.

You or your BF could have your phone stolen and the pictures extracted and posted up on the internet for all to see, forever.

I hate the term "victim blaming" because it suggests that people shouldn't take any kind of personal responsibility - but how many times will previously thought private sexy photos and videos need to end up on the internet (for all to see, forever) before people realise that doing such a thing is not a good idea? 1? 10? 100?

My advice is simply just don't do it. Millions of people are in healthy relationships that don't require the swapping of sexy pictures and videos.

If you are going to do it, then you better be prepared and comfortable with the chance that those pictures or videos could be looked upon by a random strangers on the internet, forever.
posted by mr_silver at 4:17 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

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