Is iCloud Photos Safe?

By Irene Daraman Written by Irene Daraman Expertise: Technology, Learning, and Money Title: - Author and Freelance Writer Education: - Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of La Salette Work Experience: - Registered Nurse with 10+ years of experience in BPO and healthcare industries - Management position in a Fortune 500 company, driving operational excellence and exceeding targets - Designing and implementing business plans and strategies to promote the attainment of goals, including financial (money matter), technology, and internal learning and development - Patient care coordinator in a California-based private practice - Experience as a personal injury medical records reviewer and demand letter writer in a Texas law firm - 5+ years of content/article writing experience, delivering engaging and informative pieces across various domains About: I am a Registered Nurse with 10+ years of experience in BPO and the healthcare industry. With a specialization in public and community nursing, I possess a deep understanding of patient care. Currently working in a management position at a Fortune 500 company, where I drive operational excellence and exceed targets. I am responsible for using technology at work, and driving learning and development. I am an expert in technology, learning, and money related topics from my corporate work experience. Public Profiles:
Updated on August 20, 2023

One of the best features of Apple devices is the availability of iCloud to store important information, such as photos, passwords, files, backups, etc. The technology makes it easier to share your captured moments with your family and friends. Given its huge popularity, many ask, is iCloud Photos safe?

While it is fun to share your captured moments online, saving photos online may put you at risk. So, it is paramount to be careful and mindful of the safety of your photos online. So far, Apple ensures that your photos on iCloud are secure because they have added layers of security to their services that hackers cannot easily hack. They use end-to-end encryption and best-in-class security technologies.

Can anyone see iCloud photos?

No, not anyone without permission could see your iCloud Photos

Your photos in iCloud are private. Due to added layer of protection set by Apple in iCloud, no one could see your photos, except if you allow them to see them.  Your pictures will only be visible to others once you share them your pictures. This is made possible through iCloud File Sharing. It is as easy as clicking the invitation link you have sent to a specific person to view or edit your file.

Are photos permanently on iCloud?

Photos can be removed permanently from iCloud

Your photos in iCloud can stay there permanently. However, once you delete your photos, it is temporarily placed in the Recently Deleted folder for 30 days before being permanently deleted. Meanwhile, should you change your mind, you can opt to recover your deleted photos as long as it’s within 30 days, otherwise, it will not be possible. And if you wished to delete your photos permanently in iCloud, you can access your iCloud account in the settings of your device. In order to permanently delete your photos:

  1. Go to your Apple ID in your device setting
  2. Click Manage Storage menu
  3. Tap Disable & Delete
  4. Click Continue Anyway once a pop-up message appears saying your photos will be permanently deleted in 30 days.  

How private are iCloud photos? Is iCloud safe for photos?

Apple uses end-to-end encryption when storing your photos on iCloud

Apple ensures the safety of users’ photos saved in iCloud. Your photos are private unless you turn the public view of your iCloud URL. Apple uses end-to-end encryption, which means saving photos in iCloud are securely encrypted in transit, stored in the system in an encrypted format, and secured your encryption keys in Apple data centers.

Can someone hack my iPhone photos?

It’s possible that your iCloud account could be compromised

Apple has ensured users with best-in-class security technology against hackers. They have tested their technology to ensure that hackers or spyware will not be able to retrieve your data from the iCloud backup. However, your photos are still vulnerable to hackers, even with the best-in-class security technologies used by Apple to protect your photos. But it will not be easy for them to access your photos. There are a few easy ways to ensure the safety of your photos from these cyber-attacks:

  1. Turn on your two-factor authentication
  2. Disable Photo Sharing and Photo Stream setting
  3. Do not share your iCloud URL with public spaces
  4. Change your password regularly and do share it with anyone else.

What happens to my photos if I turn off iCloud?

Photos not taken from the device will be removed automatically

If you turn off the iCloud Photo Library, photos that were not taken from the device will be removed automatically. But, if you want to turn off your iCloud Photo Library and keep your photos, you can download your photos and save them to your local device before disabling iCloud Photo Library synchronization.

Will deleting photos from iPhone delete from iCloud?

Yes, deleting photos from your iPhone will also delete them from your iCloud Photos

Deleting photos from your iPhone will also delete them from your iCloud Photos. But, if you want to keep your photos on iCloud, you can turn off iCloud photo sharing or use another cloud server to back up your photos before deleting them.

Can Apple look at your iCloud photos?

Apple can access and control your photos using computer-based algorithm.

Apple has access to your photos. But that is to ensure images are compliant with some legal rules and do not contain inappropriate content. They are using a computer-based algorithm that scans your photos and compares them to codes that will detect any malicious or inappropriate content. 

Is iCloud photos safe? Can anyone see my deleted photos?

Nobody can see permanently deleted photos from iCloud

iCloud does not keep permanently deleted photos. Therefore, nobody can see permanently deleted photos from iCloud. It is only viewable and retrievable from the Recently Deleted folder if it is within 30 days from the day of deletion.

Can hackers recover deleted photos on iPhones?

With the sophisticated data security used by Apple, it would be hard for hackers to access deleted photos. Apple tested its security using top spyware, but it failed to retrieve the sample photos.