A very popular social networking SnapChat recently ran into a lot of controversy when the
news of leaked SnapChat pictures hit internet. When asked about the scandalous event,
SnapChat authorities have explained how the illegal parasite applications are at the root of
The “ephemerality” of SnapChat messages:
How ephemeral IS the messages and images exchanged over SnapChat really? The app
promises that the images and content that is sent to the receiver have a maximum staying
limit of 10 seconds after which they vanish. Of course, if a receiver decides to take a
SnapChat screenshot, the content becomes not so impermanent. But even in that case, a
notification is sent to the sender of the particular message, warning him about the screenshot.
However, internet security researchers have confirmed another way these messages can be
saved. If a third party application allows SnapChatters the saving of images on a remotely
based server, the discreetness behind images shared over the app gets compromised. Even
though the practice of using these parasite apps is strictly forbidden in the terms of SnapChat
use, many users do not follow that and hence get victimized.
Looking Better Than Most
Parasite apps and the problems they create:
The parasite clients that analyses the API of SnapChat and then steals away the images by
doing away with the time deletion feature of SnapChat are hard to avoid. In fact, the more
an app popularizes, the more the risks like these increase. And since SnapChat is specifically
known for the exchanging of photos that are quite “private”, these clients find a lot of spicy
things to hang on to.
These parasite apps seem to be everywhere and with attention grabbing taglines stating, that a
person choosing to keep a friend’s pic forever without letting it get deleted with time, should
be using the app. Even in such a securely controlled platform like Android’s Google Play
store, there are a host of applications like Snapbox and Snapcrack which offer the opportunity
of saving Snapchat pictures. These photos are publicly viewable and susceptible to the
whims of hackers.
SnapChat’s measure against the parasite apps:
That is not to say the hugely popular photo sharing app is not doing anything to protect
the user data. All the unauthorized apps are being tracked down diligently from stores like
Google Play and iTunes and being deleted.
They are even looking into offering more secure API to the users so that no such third party
client can be able to break through the protections of SnapChat and post the data shared.
Also, steps like warning Google and Apple to remove apps like this are being taken.
But more importantly, the users need to be more responsible in handling of SnapChat. They
should be aware that in no way they may share their app details with any illegal apps. Even
though there is another problem. The sender may not know whether or not the receiver of his
or her SnapChat picture is using such a parasitic app.