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The Snappening: What’s it all about, and should I be worried?

The Snappening is the latest major online photo leak. Here's all you need to know

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life

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The internet can be a hostile place. Recently, there have been some pretty public incidents that have called into question the safety of different online and social media platforms. When we’re using the internet, do we really know how private the information we share is, and if we’re really keeping ourselves safe?

The most recent of these incidents is known as “The Snappening”, and if you’re a user of Snapchat, it’s something that you should be aware of.

So what is “The Snappening”?

Basically, a whole bunch of images sent through Snapchat have been leaked and shared publicly on the world wide web. It’s estimated around 90,000 photographs and 9,000 videos have been leaked.

Oh no, I use Snapchat! Should I be worried?

Well, that depends. The leak has only affected users who use third party apps such as SnapSave and SnapSaved. These apps are used to save SnapChat pics, where normally they would be deleted. If you use these apps, there is a chance that your photos or videos may have been leaked. Keep an eye on Snapchat’s website for advice as to what to do if they have been.

What can I do to make sure my photos or messages never get leaked?

It’s absolutely unacceptable and unfair that there are people out there that will illegally steal your private files and share them with the world without any consent or permission from you. But the sad truth is that those people do exist, and many of them have the skills and resources to hack into private online accounts. Here are some words of advice for protecting yourself from this:

  • Do not use any third-party applications (like SnapSave or SnapSaved). If you really have to share any personal or intimate information or photographs online, only ever use the official application or website.
  • Really think carefully about the kind of information or pictures you share online. Even if you’re sharing them in a private message with someone you deeply trust, as the news recently has shown us, there is really nowhere online that can’t be hacked into by people with the right skills.
  • Remember that anyone using SnapChat can take a screenshot, so even if you’re message is deleted after viewing, the person who receives it can still take a screenshot to save and distribute. As such, be really discerning about who you can trust, and avoid sending anything too intimate.
  • If your private photos are ever shared with others, either as a result of a hacking or a as a result of a partner or friend breaking your trust, you may feel hurt, upset and confused. Try not to let it damage your self-esteem though - the only person that has done anything embarrassing or shameful is the person who leaked and shared your photo without your permission, and you should not feel any shame or guilt for someone else’s horrible actions.

Check out our SnapChat article for more information on how to stay safe while SnapChatting.

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Published October 14th, 2014
Last updated February 23rd, 2018
Tags snapchat online safety
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