This is a fitting post for Cyber Security Awareness Month. It’s really aimed towards parents because I still talk to many parents who don’t understand the dangers that their kids can be exposed to via social media. Snapchat, for those who are unaware, is a smartphone app that allows users to send video and graphic messages that are “deleted” within a few seconds. It’s certainly a novelty and not something that my peers would appreciate. I know I have re-read an email or a message only to find out that I missed the intent the first time around. With Snapchat, going back to the message simply isn’t an option.
Even worse is how our youth are using this app to send nude photos, not understanding the implications. These kids are often sending these images add videos with the assumption that once they are gone, they are gone. Well, the reality is that the message resides on the server, and although it is removed from the viewer, it still remains on the server.
Now the worst part. The security breach with the threat of the release of many of these images and videos which could prove to be damaging. Cyber security is a part of Internet life. The only way to avoid any risk is to be 100% disconnected, and that’s not a reality. I encourage people to at least be aware of best practices and use common sense, because in the end, we have seen some of the most trusted companies in the world come out of the wrong side of a cyber security event.
Here is an excerpt from the Fox News story discussing the latest breach along with a link to their full story.
“More clearly needs to be done to remind Snapchat’s millions of users – many of whom are teenagers – of the dangers of sending intimate images that may later leave them humiliated or embarrassed if shared with unauthorized parties,” wrote Oxford, U.K.-based computer security expert Graham Cluley, in a blog post Monday. “As has been known for some time, there will always be ways for Snapchat images to be preserved by recipients – even if you were hoping they would expire and delete themselves a few seconds after being viewed.”