Snapchat, a popular social media photo-sharing platform, is raising privacy concerns over leaked photos that are supposed to be private.
If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, here’s how it works: You or your friends can snap a photo or video and send it to any of your Snapchat friends. Unlike other social media photo apps, like Instagram, Snapchat pictures will expire at the end of your specified time, usually between 3-5 seconds.
But now people have figured out a way to save Snapchats that are supposed to be deleted. Enter Snapchat Leaked, a website designed to bring those “expired” Snapchats into the public eye. Is it harmless fun or a scandalous privacy disaster waiting to happen?
Before we dive into the ethical issues, let’s take a look at the issue on Snapchat’s end.
In a Perfect World, Snapchats are Deleted Forever… But They’re Not
Snapchats are supposed to be deleted when the timer expires — at least, that’s how it’s advertised.
But Richard Hickman, a digital forensics examiner at a Utah security form, found the pictures don’t actually expire. Turns out they’re saved on your smartphone — not deleted, just hidden.
Unfortunately, if you’re thinking you’d need to be an expert hacker to access these hidden Snapchat pictures, you’re wrong.
You don’t have to be a forensics expert to copy Snapchat pictures. Users just take screenshots of photos they receive and post them to Snapchat Leaked.
User Behavior Influences Snapchat Photo Habits
Snapchat seems like a fun new twist on social media photo sharing: Snap a photo, send it to a friend, and before they know it, it’s gone.
The problem is that people use Snapchat to send inappropriate, often adult-rated photos, similar to the “sexting” phenomena that’s plagued teenagers and politicians alike. And most users aren’t aware that their Snapchat photos can be recovered or saved.
Given the nature of many Snapchat pictures, it’s easy to see the danger for users who think Enter Snapchat Leaked, the jealous ex’s dream.
Snapchat Leaked: The Place to Show What Shouldn’t Be Seen
Leaking private photos and videos isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. But due to the popularity, and supposed security, of Snapchat, the Snapchat Leaked site escalates concerns.
Here’s Beta Beat‘s take on the site.
Mostly popular in Britain, Snapchat Leaked is a worrisome blog brimming with user-submitted screenshots alternating between the naughty … the cheeky and whatever the hell this is.”
We can’t imagine many people want to end up on Snapchat Leaked. Thankfully, the site blocks nudity and usernames are aren’t revealed. Still, there are serious privacy concerns at hand.
For one, many people use Snapchat with an expectation of security and confidentiality but your private photos aren’t private at all.
It would be very troubling to discover your private pictures can be uploaded for the entire world to see, and not everyone agrees with what Snapchat Leaked is doing. As Beat Beat elaborates:
UK tabloid Metro noted that the recently launched website had its Facebook page pulled mere hours after it was created because of fears it could lead to cyberbullying. “Facebook has unpublished our page due to users using the page to ‘bully’ others. We are working with Facebook on this issue,” Snapchat Leaked’s creators told the paper.”
For a company that thrives on social interactions, it’s reassuring to see Facebook step in and say “no” to Snapchat Leaked.
How You Can Avoid Privacy Risks with Sites like Snapchat Leaked
Snapchat Leaked proves that online privacy is never truly as private as we think it is. No matter how high your security settings may be, anything you post on social media can potentially be retrieved by someone else.
Remember to use common sense on social media. Never post anything that could cause you to lose your job, make your grandmother blush or expose your personal information to identity thieves and scammers.
If you want to keep something truly private, don’t post it on the Internet.
What Do You Think?
Are you a Snapchat user? What are your thoughts on Snapchat Leaked and user privacy? Is it harmless fun or a privacy disaster waiting to happen? Let us know in the comments section.
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