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1. Abstinence is the safest bet: "I know this isn't what people want to hear, but sexting is like posting something on the Internet,” says Bury. “There's a reason revenge porn exists. The love of your life this week could be the person tweeting out your nude selfie next week, so if you want it to stay private, don't share it with anyone.”
2. Use protection: Bury suggests using an app like Snapchat, which deletes your photos after they're sent, but warns, “Anyone you send a photo to can take a screenshot of your messages. You'll always be notified, but that doesn't mean you can force them to delete the photos.” Apps like CoverMe, Frankly or Hide.ly, meanwhile, are designed to keep your chats private. “Hide.ly is a zero-trace camera app that encrypts photos, stores them in a hidden, password-protected gallery and allows you to share with other app users only using double-encryption technology,” Dr. Jess says.
3. The complete delete: “Delete them not only off your phone, but off your cloud storage accounts (Dropbox, iCloud, etc), and the cloud storage account for your recipient,” says Bury. “Deleting it from your photo roll doesn't mean it's gone forever.”
4. No identity: Take close-ups and avoid showing your face or distinctive markings, such as tattoos, in any photos. “I have clients who go as far as adding fake tattoos to be anonymous in their photos, as you can never be too cautious,” Dr. Jess says.
5. Stay sober: “We’re all more likely to do something we’ll regret while under the influence of alcohol, so save your sexting for the sober hours,” says Dr. Jess. There are a handful of apps such as Drunk Lock that can lock you from texting and calling certain numbers when you’re under the influence. Don’t want to go that route? Delete numbers of former flames—just in case.
6. Stay off social: Don't use Facebook, Twitter DM and the like to sext. “These apps and their notifications often appear on multiple devices—including the ones you leave laying around that friends and family might stumble upon. “You’re also more likely to sext the wrong person in apps that autocomplete recipients’ names,” Dr. Jess says.
7. Just wait: If you’ve ever received an unprovoked intimate photo from a guy you were talking to, you know there is nothing worse. If you’re going to send a nude shot, check in first. His phone might be on the table at a meeting, or worse, his children might be playing a game on it.
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