snapchat tracking

Your Snapchat Images Are Not as Safe as You Think

It’s safe to say that anyone even a little invested in the use of social networking apps must have heard of the phenomenon that is Snapchat. This app has taken the world of online communication by storm, as people of all ages are seen sending ‘snaps’ to their friends and family, whether they are to give a serious message or just to share a moment.

The reason for Snapchat’s popularity is that the content sent through it is temporary. Users can send their images or video clips to others that last only up to 10 seconds at most, after which they are deleted from recipient’s device permanently. It’s no wonder that people who like to share moments with friends are so in love with Snapchat, and teenagers are clearly leading the pack.

Snapchat’s Selling Feature Being Challenged

While the use of Snapchat for sharing personal images and videos has been criticized since long, a new issue has been brought to light recently thanks to a forensics firm by the name of Decipher Forensics. The firm has successfully proven that it the images Snapchat claims to ‘delete’ from the device are in fact saved on it, and are pretty easy to extract as well.

The team behind this new information found that all Snapchat images that have been received on an Android device can be found in a folder names RECEIVED_IMAGES_SNAPS. The images are saved with a ‘nomedia’ extension and can be accessed if put into a program that recognizes this file type.

The lead researcher behind the discovery, Hickman, says that the team is now working on ways to extract images from iOS devices as well.

Credibility in Question

The Snapchat has not given any response to this new information, further attesting to the fact that this is not a flaw but a part of the app’s code. It is only natural then to question the credibility of the app, as it is a clear violation of the app’s core feature.

According to the founder of the app, Evan Spiegel, Snapchat has been created so that people can just enjoy using the app and ‘embrace the spirit’ of the service. He also said that there can be ways of reverse engineering the technology, which takes the fun out of using the app. However, there are actual threats that can cause people a lot of trouble in the name of this fun.

The Risks Seems More Real Now

Thanks to the temporary nature of the app, a lot of people, especially young users, are seen going overboard with their snaps. Partaking in sexting and sharing of inappropriate content has become normal for many of Snapchat’s young users. While this kind of social networking is unhealthy on its own, knowing the fact that someone could potentially extract a sexual image of yours from their phone and share it over the internet, maybe to get back at your for something or just for the sake of ‘fun’ makes Snapchat a very risky app to use.

Social networking has become part and parcel of modern life, and many people cannot imagine spending even one day without checking up on their online life. This new information must be taken seriously by such people, especially those who are avid users of Snapchat. A lesson needs to be learnt here; be mindful of what you’re telling the world through the internet, and always share responsibly.

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