Seattle took notice Monday, after hackers potentially stole nude photos of dozens of celebrities


SEATTLE – The news that hackers potentially stole nude photos of dozens of celebrities from the cloud sparked conversations online and in Seattle coffee houses Monday.

"I have a lot of family photos," said Joshua Alexander, who uses cloud services for music mainly. "I like to keep those family photos private, with me. Once you release something out on the Internet, it's no longer yours so that's kind of what you have to go by."

Jeffrey Borek, the Seattle-based program director of worldwide Cloud Computing for IBM, said it could be a reminder for all of us to take simple steps at home.

"I think fundamentally, it really comes back to the basics," he said, adding simple things like more robust security passwords are a first step. "Way too many people use default security passwords. You also have to use upper and lower case. Use a mix of not just letters and numbers but also include a dollar sign, for instance."

News of the potential hack created a buzz online Monday, including a new hashtag #IfMyPhoneWasHacked. Security experts were reminding people that sending something to many cloud-based services is like making a copy. So, essentially, if you delete something from your phone, it could still be in the cloud somewhere.

"I think people put everything on the cloud - they don't realize it," one woman explained to her friends at a coffee shop on First Avenue Monday.

It's one reason cloud experts suggest you be aware of where you put very personal data.

"You want to strike that right balance of, gee, is this something I want to put up on the cloud because heaven forbid - if somebody got access to it - how bad would that be for me," Borek said. "Have some balance of maintaining your digital life private, within your own home computer, whether that's a tablet or a laptop versus leveraging the cloud for everything."

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