Ever heard of bubble messages? Yes, those self-destructing messages that go poof a few seconds after they are sent.
Now, add images and videos to those bubble messages, and what do you get…? Snapchat!
Snapchat is a popular bubble-messaging app that allows users to send self-destructing images, text and videos to their friends and family (F&F).
Though the app offers a great way to share the not-so-memorable moments and not think about them later, such futile self-destruction comes at a price of users’ privacy and security.
Why did we call it futile? It is because when someone takes a snap, you get a limited window to take the screenshot of the snap and save it.
Now, imagine having a “risqué” snap being ended up in the wrong hands? What could go wrong?
Do we need to tell…?
There are many factors that put Snapchat users’ privacy at serious risk.
Risks of Snapchat
- Anyone can contact you and see your snaps
- Anyone can see your stories
- Anyone can add you to their friend list if they have your username
- Anyone can take screenshots, which is albeit notified by Snapchat
There have also been some other instances that highlight Snapchat security vulnerabilities.
- In 2014, a massive cache of risqué Snapchat photos and videos were hacked and publicized online
- Snapchat is prone to DDoS attacks to paralyze a device for a brief period
Actor Kal Penn took to Twitter in response to this news
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) October 29, 2015
How to Secure Snapchat
So, is there a way to make Snapchat a safe and secure app for users? Yes.
Take a look at the following considerations:
- Update your Snapchat Settings: There is a lot more you can do to secure your privacy by tweaking the settings menu of your Snapchat. From the settings menu, you can set who can view your story or who can contact you.
You can even hide from the quick add section by disabling the feature from the settings.
- Avoid sharing username and Snapcode: You can add users to your friend’s list once you know their username or Snapcode, aka custom QR code.
Therefore, it is recommended to not share these details freely over different platforms in the hope of making new friends. If you do so, you may end up attracting unwanted friend requests.
- Change password and make it highly complex: Users who have a healthy habit of changing passwords regularly are less likely to end up getting hacked.
Apart from that, it is also important to create strong, complex passwords that are literally incomprehensible.
- Use login verification feature: Login verification, aka two-factor authentication, is a highly effective way to secure Snapchat. The two-factor authentication allows you to install an added layer of security to disallow unwanted devices from accessing your account.
In simple terms, whenever you login into your Snapchat app, you will be first asked to insert your password, and then an authentication code sent as a text to your number. You can enable this option from Snapchat’s settings.
- Install a VPN: Perhaps, the most reliable way to secure not just Snapchat but all your favorite apps is by installing a VPN, virtual private network. A VPN allows you to create an encrypted tunnel between your Internet connection and your device.
Due to an encrypted connection, you are not only able to use Snapchat in a secure environment but also browse websites, make online transactions and do much more without worrying about your internet privacy and security at all.
So, are you implementing these preventive measures to secure your Snapchat? Or, do you have better measures to suggest?
Feel free to share your thoughts below.