Emeryville, California, September 8, 2022 - Avast (LSE:AVST), a global leader in digital security and privacy, has partnered with certified sexologist, psychologist, and intimacy expert Shan Boodram to raise awareness around the ways people inadvertently put their privacy at risk by exchanging intimate photos or other personal content online. Through this campaign, Avast will give consenting adults the tools they need to enjoy safe and private connected lives without compromising their safety and privacy online should they choose to store or send nude or intimate photos. Nothing is more personal than our personal photos. Still, recent research shows that despite the potential for photos falling into unintended hands, we are all doing it, as a third of Americans have admitted to sharing nude photos.
Technology has permanently changed how we form, grow, and maintain interpersonal relationships, resulting in more people exchanging personal information online. However, most people don’t observe best practices when sending and storing intimate digital content like photos or videos safely. While the only 100% guarantee against the misuse of personal images is to not send them electronically in the first place, Avast believes that protecting digital freedom is critical to maintaining a safe and private online experience and that digital citizens should have access to tools and education to take control of their online identities.
In today's world, we must take ownership and control over our data, especially around the challenge surrounding personal data. The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) found that 2.2 trillion SMS and MMS messages are sent annually, with 6 billion texts sent daily, signifying the complexity of data sharing in the modern climate. Privacy and security are about more than just cyber threats: reputable digital freedom comes when users understand how to control their 'digital self.'
According to a survey by Avast of over 2,000 participants:
- Of those who have sent an intimate photo of themselves to someone else, 80% of them worry that their intimate photos could fall into the wrong hands.
- While those who received an intimate photo of someone else, 86% of those men said they’ve saved intimate photos of someone on their personal devices compared to 79% of women. Comparably, 78% of women and 82% of men said they keep intimate photos of themselves on their devices.
- And wait for it, 1 out of 3 Americans have accidentally shared a text message or photo with the wrong person.
- A third of Americans have shared a nude photo, and 73% do so as often as once a month.
- Most respondents admitted keeping their own photos (79%) and others (82%) saved on their personal devices in a password-protected folder (48%) or on their device’s gallery (46%).
- Half of those who send intimate photos said they do so at least once a week (52%), and another 29% send them once a month or more.
"Here's some guidance, before considering sending these photos and worrying about them falling into the wrong hands, establish a code of trust with the person you're sharing them with," says Shan Boodram, Intimacy Expert & Certified Sexologist. "Have an open conversation to ensure privacy on both parties' end and be aware of the ways to share and send photos as safely as possible."
For adults who choose to exchange and store intimate images online responsibly, Avast has tools to help users do so privately:
- Photo Vault (iOS, Android) allows users to store password-protected photos safely inside the Avast One app. These photos are saved to an encrypted folder and only accessed via PIN, Touch ID, or Face ID.
- Secure Browser is a private browser that eliminates tracking and protects every search you do online. Avast’s Secure Browser product keeps sensitive data safe, blocks malicious websites and downloads with powerful anti-phishing technology, and forces websites to use encryption to ensure device websites use encryption to secure their data.
“We don’t see the sharing of intimate photos as a fad or trend, but as a part of our ever-growing digital lives, so the need for critical online safety measures is more important than ever. Whether it’s sexting or researching, be confident sharing yourself online. But, even more importantly, be aware. Some of our most personal decisions involve the internet, even those we previously considered safe from legal scrutiny, like our search history. And not every hottie out there has our best interests at heart. So, stay confident, have fun — and stay safe.” says Emma McGowan, Consumer Privacy and Security expert at Avast.
Avast’s free products, Avast Secure Browser and Avast One Essential are available for download and compatible with various services and operating systems. The Avast Photo Vault is now available for all users who have downloaded the Avast One Essential on mobile devices (iOS, Android). To take control of your online images or for more information on Avast and their suite of security and privacy products, visit https://www.avast.com/privates
* Data from a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Avast from May 6 to May 12, 2022, with a panel of 2,000 Americans split evenly by gender and generation into the United States.
About Shan Boodram
Shan Boodram is an intimacy expert and certified sexologist with a B.A. in psychology and has spent 15 years discussing sex, relationships, self-love, and sensuality. Shan is a best-selling author with her book The Game of Desire and was the host of Quibi’s #1 daily show, Sexology with Shan Boodram. She has 70+ million YouTube views and has served as an expert on projects on all major streaming and TV networks with write-ups in The New York Times, Forbes, TIME magazine, and more. Her podcast Lovers and Friends with Shan Boodram is available everywhere for listeners to indulge in as she takes a deep dive into topics relating to sex and relationships. Currently, Shan is an expert on Peacock’s new dating show, Ex-Rated, hosted by Andy Cohen, and appeared as an expert and workshop facilitator on Netflix’s #1 dating show, Too Hot to Handle.