Can Your Parents Check Online What Pictures You Send on an iPhone?

The photos you send on your iPhone may not be private.
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With mobile phones so integrated into modern life, your device holds a great deal of personal information, from photos to text messages. Chances are, the photos you send from your iPhone are meant to stay personal. By taking steps to secure your device and connected accounts, you can prevent your parents from seeing personal photos.

1 Viewing Billing Details

All service providers that support iPhones offer detailed online billing. If you are part of your parents' family plan or if your parents pay your phone bill, they have access to information about all of your phone activity. If you are sending photos via text, your parents will be able to see the numbers you messaged as well as the date and time of each message. The contents of the message itself, whether it be photos or text, are not visible to your parents.

2 Logging In to iMessage

Your iPhone is equipped with a service called iMessage, which allows you to send photos and texts over Wi-Fi or cellular network connections. The service syncs your messages across all of your devices, so you can continue a conversation no matter where you are. Unfortunately, that feature can also expose your sent photos to anybody who can view your computer. If you leave your iMessage account online on your computer, your parents will be able to see all of the messages you've sent from your iPhone using iMessage -- including photos. To prevent this possibility, turn off iMessage on your iPhone by tapping on the "Settings" icon, choosing "Messages" and sliding the "iMessage" slider to the off position. Doing so may increase the amount of text messages you use each billing cycle, but it will reduce the likelihood of others seeing your photos.

3 Checking Webmail Accounts

Many iPhone users send photos over email using Apple's Mail app. The iPhone is linked to a webmail service like Gmail; once you send an email on your iPhone, the "Sent" folder on the webmail service is automatically updated to reflect the message. If your parents have access to your email password, they can log in to the account using any Web browser to see the contents of each email you've sent. In that case, the only way to prevent them from seeing your photos is to change your password or delete all of your sent messages.

4 Securing iCloud Account

The Apple iCloud, which is available on all iPhones running iOS 5 or later, can back up your text messages and emails. If you leave your iCloud account logged in on your computer or your parents have access to your login details, your sent photos will be visible. To prevent your iPhone from syncing the photos you send, disable the feature on your iPhone. Tap on the "Settings" icon and select "iCloud." Turn the sliders to the off position for Mail and Photos. Tap on "Storage & Backup" and turn the "iCloud Backup" slider to the off position to prevent your text messages from being saved to iCloud.

Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.