SnapChat and parental concerns
The “Snappening”, as media is calling it, has made the loopholes of the popular messaging
application Snapchat more apparent. The hackers have stolen and released the personal pictures
sent over Snapchat, including a number of nude images of many teenagers.
What is Snappening?
The media has termed the enormous leak of millions of snaps over the web as Snappening.
The popular messaging app Snapchat allows users to send photos, videos, text and drawing to
select recipients. The popularity of the app lies in the fact that the sent images, videos or texts,
called ‘snaps’, can be viewed for a maximum time of 10 seconds after which they disappear from
the recipient’s device and are deleted from Snapchat’s servers.
But hackers have been able to intercept the photographs, as they have claimed, for years. The
main population of Snapchat users is teens below 17 and the leaked SnapChat photographs
contain many indecent photos of the children, which makes the matter even more sensitive.
The victims include almost a third of the of the U.S. teens who constitute a large population of
Snapchat’s 100 million monthly active users. And what is more frightening is that, as the U.K.
Telegraph’s Radhika Sanghani puts it, “now, it seems, anyone can be the victim.”
Therefore it is very important that parents too take a lesson and teach children some basic facts
about the web and various applications.
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The things that parents need to know about Snapchat
Here is a list of few important things that parents should keep in mind and help their children be
more aware of the dangers of online applications so that they are better protected from further
There is nothing private: while Snapchat is more private than any other online
messaging app, it is still in reality totally private. Snapchat is based on the philosophy
of ‘sharing’ despite all its premise of being safe with the snaps disappearing in seconds.
Slate’s Lily Hay Newman has commented writing “It’s meant to be maximally easy to
use, and to promote sharing. That’s the opposite of what true private communication is
Things that go online does not disappear, EVER: Snapchat does not allow users to
save the snaps which are only visible for a maximum of 10 seconds, but a lot can happen
in those few seconds. Most of the android based smartphones and iPhone users can save
the pictures with a quick SnapChat screen shot of the message. There are also third
party apps that are developed like Snap Save that actually allows users to save the snaps
sent during Snapchat conversations without the knowledge of the sender.
The privacy is never absolute: while children realize that the Internet is never a place
where something can be private, apps like Snapchat somewhat clouds the issue. Though
Snapchat tries its best to safeguard the security of its users, there are many loopholes
too. Apps like Snapchat create an illusion of privacy that is impossible to achieve in the
worldwide web. This can be really dangerous as teens sometimes fail to see the actual
dangers. A pediatrician Claire McCarthy, who is also the mother of a teenage daughter,
says that “Apps like Snapchat make it seem like it’s possible that social media could
actually be ephemeral or private.”