Snapchat has become one of the decade’s most popular apps. Although launched in 2011, the Snapchat sexting app gained a precedential multitude of followers. By 2016, the Bloomberg reports that Snapchat was receiving over 110 million daily users, far higher than Twitter!
Many cyber pundits credit the tremendous growth to the Snapchat privacy and security. Yet, Snapchat privacy settings are an issue that needs some insight!
Is your Snapchat secure?
Most Snapchat users share things they cannot post on other social media websites. No doubt, most users tend to overestimate the Snapchat security. So, most internet users have one question unanswered: is sexting on Snapchat secure?
Read also: Skype Security
Well, the app makers claim that images are watertight safe and temporary. But, reality proves otherwise. While pictures and posts made on Snapchat disappear within a few seconds, hackers can still find them and expose you.
Snapchat security and privacy issues
In theory, Snapchat has some of the best online privacy and security measures. The images and videos shared on the website self-destruct a few seconds after. But, is that enough to keep you safe? In fact, Snapchat has proved prone to manipulation.
Some bitter individuals have come up with successful ways to hack Snapchat. In 2013, Gibson Security Snapchat scandal disclosed the significant flaws of using Snapchat. Moreover, the internet has several programs devised for hacking and breaking into Snapchat accounts.
By any means, such programs could help hackers to compromise Snapchat privacy settings. Thus, the Snapchat security problems raise the alarm for all users. Also, Snapchat is not efficient enough to keep you safe from snapshots.
Snapchat discourages users from downloading or taking pictures of images shared on Snapchat. Yet, there are programs that allow a Snapchat user to take snapshots of sexts. The extent of damage that this could cause to freaks can be too much!
No doubt, this brings close the importance of a secure Snapchat experience. This article will guide you on how to stay safe on Snapchat. Apart from giving you practical insights on Snapchat security settings, the article will go far into providing tips for making you secure and private on the site. So, here are some of the ways you can enhance your security and privacy on Snapchat.
Be cautious with friend requests
Make sure you manage your buddy requests by looking at their profiles before accepting friends on Snapchat. If it is not someone you know, maybe should let them go. Social media users have proved capable of spreading spam.
Spambots have hacked into people’s social media accounts before. And, Snapchat is no exception! In brief, some of the users want to be your friend so that they can get close to you – and possibly hack you!
For all social media websites, and any other that requires passwords, you need to be cautious. Make sure your credentials are strong enough. Also, never reuse a password, lest malicious people guess it. Passwords are too sensitive to allow people have a clue about them. So, not even your need to ensure that none of your friends can know them!
Moreover, for safer use, Snapchat has come up with a two-step verification. Login Verification helps block any unauthorised entry into your Snapchat account. This is possible with the temporary code required in the login process. In a word, make use of the two-factor verification of Snapchat.
Reset your Password
At times, the unfortunate happens – and your Snapchat gets hacked. If you find yourself in such a situation, be glad that you have the email address and phone number associated with your Snapchat account. The only thing the hacker has is the password.
So, quick enough, reset your passwords to prevent any compromise on your privacy. This is simple – there by clicking on this link. If your friends ever send some strange or spam messages, alert them so they can check if their accounts are hacked.
Snapchat privacy settings
Some people like to let the world know about their lives. So, they place everything about them on social media profiles. But, there are others who only want to let known what is important. They desire to keep the rest to themselves. If you are part of the second category, it is important that you change your settings to allow it.
To change your Snapchat settings, hover on to ‘View My Story’. Then, modify the settings to suit your preferences. For instance, ‘Everyone’ means your profile and things you post are open to the public. On the other hand, ‘My Friends’ option allows only your friends on Snapchat to view your profile.
Lastly, if you wish to have only selected users finding out about you, the ‘Custom’ option is what you need. The option allows you to choose the particular individuals that can view your profile.
Also, if you need to receive Snaps only from your friends, you can do it right! On the left square button of an open Snapchat, click the gear button. That should lead you to the prompt ‘Receive Snaps From’. Make it ‘My Friends’ and no stranger will intrude into your life on Snapchat!
Snapchat Temporary Sexts
Snapchat has gained a lot of fame for allowing temporary texts. You can send a text, image or video on Snapchat and your friends will only see it for a short period of time – it is then deleted automatically. For instance, the app allows temporary texts to read for only ten seconds. Also, there is another provision where videos shared on the ‘My Story’ are only accessible for a day. That sounds convenient enough to share anything, doesn’t it?
As long as Snapchat have the full ownership of your content, they can post it later – at their own will. This calls for users to be careful about what they share on Snapchat. Avoiding sharing sensitive information on the site is a wise idea!
To illustrate this, SnapSaved in 2013 hacked into Snapchats files and leaked more than 200,000 pictures and Snaps. The Snappening hack breached the privacy of hundreds of thousands who thought their Snaps and Chats had permanently disappeared. It was a sad day for users who had posted pictures and chats that they would never have wanted to go on the internet. So, do not believe on Snapchat temporary
It was a sad day for users who had posted pictures and chats that they would never have wanted to go on the internet. So, do not believe on Snapchat temporary sexts blindly if you want anything like that not to happen with you.
Third Party Applications
It is important that you check the kind of applications you use with Snapchat. Some of these apps are easy to compromise. Thus, using them could jeopardise your efforts of ensuring privacy on Snapchat. Most Snapchat 3rd party apps help you navigate through the site.
In reality, the applications need your login details to perform these tasks. Yet, they are so prone to compromise – you should not trust them. Especially, with the sensitivity of information you are sending; you need to avoid the 3rd party applications. It is for this reason that Snapchat decided to ban the use of 3rd party apps.
Additional tips: Snapchat privacy tips for parents
Snapchat has revealed that 50% of its users are teenagers (13-17yrs). This prompts the need for parents to keep a track of how their children are using the platform. So, here are some of the tips for parents to enable a secure Snapchat for their kids.
- Advise your children against sending pictures or videos that they would not be comfortable with. As seen earlier, these files go to Snapchat’s database and have been hacked before. You do not want your kid to regret in future, do you?
- Discourage strangers from sending snaps to your kids. Apart from ‘spoiling’ your kid, some strangers could even hack into their accounts. And, using social engineering, some could collect information about your family. That’s too sensitive to allow!
- Advise your teenage kids on safe usage of the app. Let them understand the need to keep their login details a secret.
- Block any user who tries to trick your kid into inappropriate behaviour. You can even block them.
- Also, never forget to censor what they do online- it helps!
- Snapchat is a highly private social platform. This means your teenage kids might not be willing to allow you to see what they do. So, the best you can do is build trust with them. That way, they can let you advise them on all the issues that concern safe use of Snapchat and other chat apps.
In summary, Snapchat has cons inasmuch as it has pros. It is a social media platform of its kind. There are some excellent Snapchat alternatives available too, but research has shown that it is the fastest growing social media company. Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat has gained more than 120 million users.
However, in 2014, the Federal Trade Commission has found Snapchat guilty of “misrepresenting the extent to which it maintains the privacy, security, or confidentiality of users’ information.”
Thus, Snapchat is not as secure as it purports to be. Well, Snapchat – like any other startup company – is not close to being safe or secure. But with time, it could join the league of industry giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – that have an almost perfect safety. Before then, it is only wise to make use of the tips you have found above!
Top/Featured Image: By Blogtrepreneur / Flickr