The Snapchat Hack 

There are a number of social networking sites out there but few of them compare to Snapchat. This latest craze is a photograph storing application, which was initially known as Picaboo. On Snapchat, people can send pictures or videos to a custom list of recipients and the servers will store the “snaps” for a limited period of time. People like this operation, because it eliminates the need to email a specific picture to a long list of people. Unlike, Facebook, Snapchat doesn’t share the photograph with everyone. Only a select few can see the picture and it’s only displayed for a few minutes to a day, or however long the person sharing the photograph desires.

The Snappening

While Snapchat is a helpful and useful service, all the news associated with it hasn’t been positive. The site has unfortunately been compromised by hackers who threaten to violate the trust and confidence of the entire Snapchat user base. Like many retailers, the Snapchat site was hacked and their information was stolen. Now pictures that were designated for a specific few are being leaked all over the web. The unfortunate event hasn’t happened on a global scale but 90,000 photos and 9,000 videos were stolen from a Snapchat affiliate Snapsaved and leaked onto the web. The victims were mostly European Snapchat users, but the “snappening” has disturbed many people’s photos on the web. The whole point of using Snapchat is the privacy and confidence associated with the site. Many people use Snapchat for a digital form of flirting known as “sexting”. and a lot of the 13 gigabytes of information that was leaked to the web were nude photos and sexually explicit videos. The users posted these videos in hopes of sharing them with as few as one other person, and Internet thieves have made the images and videos public.

Unforeseen Issues

One of the most disturbing aspects surrounding the snappening is the age of some of the users. Many of them are between 13 and 17, and posting their pictures may violate child pornography laws. This is the second time Snapchat has been involved in controversy as this year saw hackers post the personal information of 4.6 million users.

The Naked Truth

Given the recent developments involving celebrities and their nude pictures, it’s a wonder why anyone would share nude photos online. The entire ordeal is reminiscent of the whole celebrity sex tape craze which took place a few years back. It seems as though people who share nude photos online are intentionally taking an unnecessary risk. Just texting a nude photograph can have dire consequences and storing these photos in “the cloud” greatly increases the chances for complications to occur.

Of course, not everyone is affected by the unfortunate event meant for their nude pictures to surface online, and these individuals must be mortified by the thought of a second, larger snappening taking place. Fortunately, many of the photos already posted on Snapchat have been anything but sexual in nature. Many of them are regular selfies, or pictures of landscapes and still life. However, the threat of people being able to hack into Snapchat and other online sharing sites has many users of the web afraid to access their personal accounts.

Modern Hacking and the Internet

It would seem people would further fear the online predators who can easily hack into retail giants more than they would fear the threat of their nude pictures appearing on the web. Target, K-Mart, and the Home Depot have already had the credit card information of their customers compromised. This theft of serious information has many people wondering how safe are we in the information age. In light of the recent disturbing revelations that have led to the development of new security protocols for many social media sites. However, there’s no such thing as absolutely safe security, because thieves will be so relentless.

Unsafe Social Media

According to CNN, hackers have already taken advantage of social media’s vulnerability. The story reports that nearly every major social media site has already been the victim of significant hacking by online predators. There were 326,000 Facebook accounts, 22,000 Twitter accounts 60,000, Google accounts and 22,000 Twitter accounts. Some of the victims made it extremely easy for hackers to take their information as their accounts consisted of the password “123456”. However, there were people who put thought into their passwords and still experienced an invasion of their privacy.

The hackers are so advanced because all Internet security is designed by people. since people design the security they can also figure out ways to bypass it. Worst of all, the hackers have security that makes it easier for them to hide their tracks. The hackers who attacked Facebook used a keylogging software so the computers affected by the hackers are nearly impossible to trace. While there are a number of protocols in place to protect consumers, it’s the consumers themselves who can do the most. It’s a good idea to use multiple passwords, instead of the same password on every site. Every site should have its own specific password and they should be randomly rotated from week to week. Another step users can take is to update their antivirus software. They should also update the latest patches of Adobe and Java and update their web browsers. It’s also a good idea to alternate web browsers. If someone usually uses Google Chrome, they should use Opera or Foxfire from time to time.

The majority of people feel as though their information is safe when they apply for a new online account, but nothing is further from the truth. There are a number of ways in which people can take advantage of the unsuspecting, regardless of the steps social media sites take. One of the biggest mistakes people make is constantly accessing public WiFi hotspots. These convenient locations allow afford free access to the high speed internet, but they also pose a litany of dangers.

Free WiFi Dangers

There are actually apps like penetrate pro and interceptor NG that are specifically designed to help people hack into the personal accounts of others. These apps are especially dangerous to people on public WiFi networks. When you access your personal accounts via public WiFi, the router opens a line of communication between itself and the server you contact. Someone else can spy on your account using the line of communication between your computer, the router and the social media server. Any usernames and passwords can be stolen and saved to access the account later. Regularly changing passwords helps to reduce this risk.

Protect Yourself

While on the web, there are things people can do to decrease their chances of being hacked. One step is to avoid downloading any suspicious apps on Facebook. You should also avoid clicking on suspicious links while on Facebook Twitter or any other social media site. These links may take you to suspicious sites where your information can be compromised. You should also only add friends that you know as adding strangers may give them access to sensitive information. Addresses and other crucial information may be accessed by your friends. You may inadvertently expose your mother’s maiden name, and the only thing most hackers need to use your credit card information is your address. In fact, many sites only check the zip coeds which someone can easily figure out if they have your street address.

Many people accidentally put personal information online such as their relationships with family members. Knowing the names of your siblings and parents gives the thieves a lot of useful information, especially your mother’s maiden name. the high school from which the person graduated, where they work, their address and the names of their children can easily be deciphered by an online “friend”.

While the threat of being hacked online remains remote. Wise people should still take preventive steps. Identity theft is a serious threat as is the threat of having one’s account hacked. The Snapchat hack may be the most embarrassing thing that many of the victims will ever endure, it poses less threat than having their bank accounts compromised. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of the snappening is to avoid posting nude pictures online and the best way to avoid having a social media account hacked is to follow simple protocol. The Internet is relatively safe, but there will always be people who know how to bypass the security which keeps the majority of threats at bay. The Snapchat password hack wasn’t the first time social media was compromised and it will probably not be the last.