Jason Segel plays Jay and Cameron Diaz plays Annie. The couple has loaned several iPads and other devices to their friends and family. I bet you’ve been there. You’re out with your friend and she drops her phone, shattering the screen, rendering it unusable. Instead of spending an arm and a leg on a brand new phone, she asks you if you have extra devices laying around your house. As it happens, you do. You have generation 4 iPhone you can lend, so you clear what you think is everything and give the phone away.

Gosh, you’re a good friend!

Jay and Annie were good friends, too.

Then one night, the couple decides to spice up their sex lives and, yes, just as the title suggests, they make a sex tape. There’s just one tiny problem: instead of deleting the “tape” from his iDevice, Jay accidentally presses a sync button and a nightmare unfolds as their private video is synced to the cloud–which is still linked to every device they’ve given away.

The movie then follows them as they try to round up the devices, but things get stickier when a neighbor discovers the tape and starts to blackmail them.

How do you keep yourself from being publicly humiliated and blackmailed, you ask?

Well, first off, maybe don’t make a sex tape. Just our suggestion.

Second of all, know how your technology works. Do some research. Spend a little time googling things. None of it is magic so don’t throw your hands up in the air and say “Oh well, I’ll never understand it.” You CAN understand it!

At one point in the movie, Jay laments:

It went up to the cloud! NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE CLOUD!

Take some time to understand the cloud. Here’ a great beginner’s guide to understanding the cloud. Here are twenty easy explanations from executives about how the cloud works. Here’s a blog about where cloud data is actually stored. Check ’em out!

The cloud can be a fantastic tool, but if you don’t know how it works or don’t know what it’s syncing too–don’t use it. Even if you’re not uploading adult photos, maybe you’re uploading photos of your house or of your child’s school. Maybe those photos are syncing to an iPad that you gave away and then your friend turned around and sold to someone for some extra cash. Now suddenly, a stranger has photos of where you live or where your kids go to school.

See how this gets real creepy, real fast?

It’s always also a good idea not to enable auto sync. As the user, you want to maintain as much control over your device as possible. Don’t give it permission to have a mind of its own. Be in control.

Often times, we take our devices for granted and don’t take the time to understand what they’re fully capable of and that’s what gets us in trouble. Just ask Jay and Annie.


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