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How to stop pervs from stealing your naked pics

Duane Hoffman/msnbc.com

Scarlett Johansson's got her lawyer trying to purge her stolen nude pics from the Internet — yeah, good luck with that — and her people on the horn to the feds, to to put the hammer down on whoever ripped those self-portraits from her phone.

Meanwhile, someone's shopping revealing pics allegedly plucked from the phone of Mila Kunis, in a hacker's haul that's rumored to contain a cameo from Justin Timberlake's junk, as well as sexy text messages between the two. And the FBI continues to investigate similar compromising content snatched from the electronic devices of Jessica Alba, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Vanessa Hudgens.

This isn't just a Hollywood trend, however. In at least three recent cases, men face criminal charges for infiltrating email and Facebook accounts of dozens of unfamous women. There, they found nude or semi-nude photos of their victims, and published those photos on porn sites or even the victims' own Facebook profiles.

So what have we learned, kids? If you're going to take naked pictures of yourself — and let's face it, lots of you already have — do like your parents had the good sense to do with their racy Polaroids: Hide 'em good!

Eventually, everyone will be naked on the Internet, and everyone who isn't will be dead, and not in a position to hamper your employment prospects and whatnot.

Until then however, if you're not a famous person whose career only benefits from naked scandals even if you star in "High School Musical," you have your immediate future to think about.

It's not like naked pics and sexting are a gateway behavior to, say, working at Goldman Sachs. Some people disagree however, and even some people can make your life miserable.

Punchline solutions, such as just keep your clothes on in front of cameras (or camera phones), are howlarious, but in the end, not helpful. To say "just don't do it," and mean it, is a denial of how we humans work. You're gonna do what you're gonna do ... especially if it involves being naked. So, as with everything you do naked, take precautions.

It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to steal your naked pics — more often than not, these are crimes of opportunity. Hackers looking to steal your intimate portraits use the same methods that have been the bread and butter of identity thieves for years. Here are the simplest tips to keep your naughty pics locked down. You already know them, you just don't do them. So let's review.

Don't leave things laying around

  • Don't leave your naked pictures on your cellphone.
  • Don't leave your naked pictures in your email, including the "sent" folder.
  • Don't leave your cellphone or computer where others can access it, even for a short period of time.
  • Don't loan out your cellphone or computer to anyone who snoops (Everyone snoops).
  • Don't email or post your private pics on Facebook, even if you think you've got you the privacy controls figured out.

But in case you do ... 

Take your passwords seriously:

  • Password protect your cellphone, computer and Wi-Fi. 
  • Use random passwords — not something easily guessed, like your pet's name or 1234 or the always classic "password."
  • Change your passwords regularly on your electronic devices, your email, Facebook and other online accounts.
  • Don't use the same password on all your accounts.
  • Chose random security questions and answers in case you need to verify your accounts. Avoid easily researched answers such as your mother's maiden name or your hometown.

Don't talk to strangers

  • Don't open email or text attachments from strangers — these can download Trojan viruses that can access your files.
  • Don't open suspect email or text attachments that appear to be from trusted sources until you've confirmed their origin. "Suspect" as in "OMG! LOOK AT THIS VIDEO I FOUND OF YOU!!!" or anything else that shows up with CAPS LOCK or claiming to have info you really need to see RIGHT NOW. Trusted sources get their accounts hacked too, and that hacker could be attempting to use their account to get into your computer.
  • Don't respond to emails claiming to need your log-on, password, account number and/or other personal information, even if it appears to be from, say, Facebook, Google, your Internet or email provider. Phishing scam emails can appear deceptively authentic, but real companies never ask you such personal info via email.

Consider creative photo editing

Remember! Naked pictures exist without the risk of discovery — you roll the dice, you take your chances.

If all else fails, hey! The new Polaroid 300 Instant is back — and available at Target, according to Polaroid's website. Of course, you still run the risk of your naked Polaroids being discovered, but unlike the Internet, those photos do deteriorate over time (unless that thieving perv has a scanner). 

More on the annoying way we live now:

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or FacebookAlso, Google+.