Beware the Snappening

Beware+the+Snappening

Michaela Roman, Photo Editor

If you think you’re making the right call by sending nudes or inappropriate pictures through Snapchat, think again.

In today’s world, the new norm is to document our daily lives, and social networks have provided many options for that with outlets like Instagram and Facebook. Although it has always been advised to watch what you put out there, in fear that it may affect your chances for a future career, it may affect much more.

For a while, it seemed as if there was a loophole. Since September 2011, Snapchat has allowed its users to share images that their friends can view for no longer than ten seconds.

There is something that comforts me about posting a picture, being able to select who sees it, and how long they see it, then poof! It’s gone forever. Though I would never use this to send inappropriate pictures of myself, there are users that do. This has backfired big time because of sites like Snapsaved.com.

Snapsaved allows you to cheat the Snapchat system. When logged into Snapsaved, you can view your received snaps, even after they were supposed to self-destruct, replay them as many times as you’d like, and the sender will not be notified.

Not all Snapchat users are on this website, but it is important to know that you have more to fear than someone simply taking a screenshot of your picture—in which case you
are notified.

Apparently, someone has hacked Snapsaved and has leaked 13GB of snapchats, from around 200,000 personal accounts. The snaps included both videos and pictures. Media is referring to this hacking as
“the Snappening.”

If celebrities could not even keep their private pictures safe in their phones with the recent iCloud leaks, there is no reason to think your pictures will be safe when distributing them through an app.

I feel there is never an appropriate time to send inappropriate pictures of yourself, but if you think you absolutely need to, you should know the risks you’re taking.

As an avid user of Snapchat, my best advice would be to know your audience and make sure they’re people you trust.

I have a habit of taking unnecessary snaps, check marking all my best friends and pressing send without much thought. They’re usually pictures filled with randomness, and definitely not things I would post on my Facebook or Instagram. I trust this list of people to not post them anywhere publicly, or if they take a screenshot, they’ll keep them to themselves.

Even then, if one of those pictures got out, it would not be the worst thing in the world.

Some people believe sending nude pictures is a way to express themselves sexually. I for one, do not share that belief. Even as someone who is constantly taking pictures every hour of the day, that is where I draw the line. That’s just me as a person, but more than that, there are far too many risks involved.

Until there is an actual privacy law passed, there is no safe place on the internet to post inappropriate pictures. Free expression or not, our current reality doesn’t protect us from hackers like those infiltrating Snapsaved or other big companies like Target or Home Depot, so we can’t behave in careless ways.

Michaela Roman may be reached at [email protected]