Tips for deleting iPhone photos permanently

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There are many reasons to delete photos taken with your iPhone, ranging from clearing up storage space to protecting your privacy. In fact, one recent story of a woman who had her iPhone stolen is particularly nightmarish and may illustrate how cleaning up your phone's local storage could be a wise move for anyone.

ABC7 News recently shared the story of a 22-year-old woman from the Bay Area – referred to as Amanda to protect her identity – who had her cell phone stolen and was blackmailed by the person who had bought the stolen device. Amanda lost her iPhone on December 29, 2012, at a Marina District bar. Six days after the phone went missing, Amanda received an email from a man calling himself Edwin that contained three nude photographs of herself and included this message:

“I'm in Peru. I bought your phone at this market. If you give me $5,000, I'll delete your photos and it will be done. Well OK, if you don't, I'm going to send them to all of your friends.” He later said, “OK now I'm going to put them on a pornographic website and attach your Facebook link to it so it will be public.”

Amanda explained that the nude photos had been in her iPhone photo album, and they had been taken for her boyfriend, meant to be seen only by him. She admitted that she has learned the hard way not to take these sort of photos. Amanda reached out to a lawyer specializing in computer forensics, and she is still working with the U.S. embassy in Lima to try to recover her phone.

Deleting photos to resolve storage woes
While not everyone will take nude photographs and find themselves being blackmailed by a member of a Peruvian phone thief ring, permanently deleting photos can be a good idea for freeing up storage space on your iPhone as well. In a recent PCAdvisor article, contributor Matt Egan explained that music, movies and photos take up a substantial amount of storage space, and every time a photo is taken on an iPhone, it is stored both locally and in the iCloud.

To clear out some space, Egan revealed that you should first open the Photos app and select the “Albums” option on the bottom of the screen. Here you can delete individual images from your albums. However, these will still be stored locally. Go to your iPhone's Camera Roll to delete the photos permanently and free up storage. After this, your iPhone photos will still be available in the iCloud, but your device will have lots of room freed up. Now that you've cleared out some space, this could be an ideal time to send your device in to iResQ for an iPhone repair to fix any cosmetic damage as well.

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