URGENT – Parents, I Strongly Recommend Uninstalling Snapchat!!!   1 comment

First of all, I ask you to find out if your child is using the popular social media photo app Snapchat and then read this entire post. Yes, I know it’s long, but I’m serious here…Serious enough to spend part of my New Years Day providing this post to plead to you to protect yourself and your children.

Second, just go to this link: http://lookup.gibsonsec.org/lookup , yes, right now, and input your and your children’s Snapchat user names into the box and see what comes up. Then come back here and read the rest of this post.

Well, what did you see? Your phone number? Your child’s phone number? Yep, phone numbers and names were leaked from Snapchat. I checked…Mine was. I also checked your kids who were my contacts on Snapchat, and they were leaked too.

As we can read from Brian Barrett at Gizmodo.com http://goo.gl/2wT6Up:

The leaked user info from SnapchatDB matches phone numbers to user names, and in some was in retrospect probably inevitable. Just a week ago, a group of researchers calling themselves Gibson Security not only publicized how easy it would be to acquire data like this from Snapchat, but detailed how one might go about doing it. And so someone has!

Fortunately—well, relatively—the minds behind SnapchatDB have shown some restraint, blurring out the last two digits of phone numbers to “minimize abuse.” They are offering, however, to show the full listings “under certain circumstances.”

If names and phone numbers were leaked, don’t you think pictures could be too?

Although it seems to be a fun app to take goofy pictures and send them to people and the pictures “disappear” (more on that soon), Snapchat is really just an avenue of nefarious activity, with possible negative effects on our children later in life when snapchatted photos surface of them online.

Bottom line – Snapchat was created for sexting by some creepy guys from Stanford. From Adam McLane’s post at http://adammclane.com/2013/08/22/why-you-should-delete-snapchat/: (In part):

“Currently, the creators of SnapChat are busy suing one another about who really created the application in the first place. The case has revealed documents which confirm what everyone has known since the beginning. SnapChat was created as a “safe” sexting app.

Here’s an email about drafting the first press release, included in the court documents. (The app was originally called picaboo)

snapchat-email-1

And this is an exchange between the creator and a person they are asking to promote the app’s release.

snapchat-email-2

The creators refer to themselves as “certified bros” who brag about their fraternity getting kicked off Stanford’s campus. And they refer to women, their target demographic, as “betches.”

Is that how you like to be talked about? If you are a parent, are you excited about your daughter being targeted to send images through a service to “certified bros” who call your daughter a “betch.”

I think not.

The fact is that SnapChat was created as a sexting app.Like a do it yourself version of Girls Gone Wild. You might not use it that way, but that’s what it was created for.

And the fact is that the images are not deleted, according to the terms of service, they can store for whatever purposes they want for as long as they want.

(Read this article about the lawsuit, including more documentation about how the creators talk about women, the app, and their hopes to get very rich selling your usage data.)

Worse yet?SnapChat is funded with venture cap money, lots of it. So the goal of SnapChat is to sell it for a lot of money… including all of the data… meaning you have zero control where your “private” images will one day end up.

Check this little gem out in their privacy policy: “Sharing of information: We may share information about you as follows or as otherwise described in this Privacy Policy: In connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company;”

What does that mean? That means your “private pictures” are ultimately for sale. And you’ve given them permission to sell them.”

You read above about how the photos aren’t deleted but stored on Snapchat’s servers to be used for whatever the creators want. Check this out from MSN.com http://goo.gl/wEGucH:

“According to a KSL report, a 24-year-old digital forensics examiner in Utah has found a relatively easy way to recover supposedly deleted photos from the incredibly popularSnapchat app.

Back in December, Buzzfeed discovered a simple way to retrieve supposedly deleted Snapchat videos. The whole gimmick behind the app is that app users can send friends photos and videos, which are then supposedly deleted 10 seconds later. The photos and videos are supposed to be wiped even from the company’s servers.

Now, Richard Hickman, of Orem, Utah-based firm Decipher Forensics, says that along with videos, he and others like him can recover the photos that Snapchat says are gone forever. Hickman told a local TV station that it takes him about six hours to recover the shots. But they are available. He says he’s already perfected the method for recovering photos on Android devices, and is now looking to do the same for shots taken with iPhones.

“The actual app is even saving the picture,” Hickman told the station. “They claim that it’s deleted, and it’s not even deleted. It’s actually saved on your phone.”

Hickman says that rather than deleting the photos, Snapchat’s makers simply affixed an extension on them. That extension makes them ‘unviewable’ to most of us without a background in computer forensics. But when an expert like Hickman gets his hands on the phone, it only takes a few hours for him to find the photos that might be of interest to parents, teacher, and law enforcement.”

So parents – I beg you to dig into this yourself, and then I hope that you will decide that this app should not be on your child’s phones. Even innocent photos can come back to haunt. Read the story of Angie Varona, who shared some images at age 14 and is now a face & body used to sell porn and fake Facebook accounts against her will.

One other item to note…It is possible to take a screen shot of a Snapchat. Imagine your child sending a not so proper Snapchat to some who takes a screen shot of it. That screen shot can be passed around, posted on internet sites, or held on to haunt a person later in life.

 

 

Posted January 1, 2014 by sotpyouth in Media, Technology

One response to “URGENT – Parents, I Strongly Recommend Uninstalling Snapchat!!!

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  1. Pingback: Snapchat Capture App – Another reason to guard your children (and yourselves)from SnapChat | Greggornation

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