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Snapchat breach poses risk for its users

Snapchat+proves+to+be+another+breached+social+network.
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Snapchat breach poses risk for its users

Snapchat proves to be another breached social network.

Snapchat proves to be another breached social network.

Snapchat proves to be another breached social network.

Snapchat proves to be another breached social network.

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The popular social media app, Snapchat, was recently breached and private phone numbers and usernames belonging to 4.6 million of its users were released.

“Once users provide their information, like their name and birthday, to sites such as Facebook, they have no control over what happens if the site is invaded and their information sold to identity thieves,” said Randall Pong, tech coordinator.

Snapchat is an instant messaging application offered for free on both Android and ios mobile devices. Users can send pictures and videos that expire after a maximum time limit of 10 seconds. The majority of Snapchat’s population is in the United States, with a concentration of ages of 13 to 23. As of September 2013, almost 350 million photos were being sent every day.

“I send at least over 30 pictures a day through Snapchat and honestly the breach hasn’t affected me personally so I still send snaps. I don’t consider my phone number as valuable as most people do, but if I did start getting mysterious phone calls then I would probably talk to my parents or phone carrier about it. Aside from that, I don’t provide my full name or birthday on Instagram, but I do on Facebook because I keep that account on more private restrictions,” said junior Caitlin Cunningham.

The company had been warned prior to the infraction that its system needed fixing, but it did not attend fast enough to the alerts. The massive breach was constructed by Gibson Security, which privately informed Snapchat of the error in its security.

To expose Americans to Snapchat’s poor defense structure, security researchers made millions of people’s private accounts public on SnapchatDB.info.

“Our main goal is to raise public awareness on how reckless many Internet companies are with user information,” said researchers at Gibson Security.

The incident raises questions as many Academy students are potential subjects to safety infringements because many engage in social networking with Snapchat and several other applications.

“I have Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram accounts which I use almost every day. Because the privacy rights aren’t very protective over my information, I choose not to post pictures or statuses I wouldn’t feel comfortable with the whole world knowing. For example I don’t post pictures of myself in uniform which would identify that I attend Sacred Hearts Academy. My accounts do have my real name, but I never release my actual birth date, ” said junior Jillian Anderson.

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Snapchat breach poses risk for its users