Snapchat Users See Increased Porn and Weight Loss Spam

Snapchat

Snapchat has posted a blog to respond to users’ complaints about seeing increased porn and weight loss spam.  The blog contains an apology for the increase in the amount of spam users are finding in their inboxes.  In addition to apologizing, Snapchat assures its users that they are “working on resolving the issue” and that as far as they know, the increased spam is not related to the hack of its user database earlier this month, which resulted in 4.6 million user names and phone numbers being posted online. Snapchat is a social network application developed in Los Angeles that allows users to send pictures and videos that are deleted from the recipient’s phone as well as the company’s servers 10 seconds after they are opened.

In August 2013, a group of Australian security researchers under the name “Gibson Security” published a security advisory warning the developers of Snapchat of a flaw in their “Find Friends” feature that would allow hackers to download the user names and phone numbers of Snapchat users.  Gibson Security also revealed that although the pictures and videos sent via Snapchat are encrypted, only one decryption key exists and could be used to view and replace any message sent via the service.  Instead of repairing their code to seal up these vulnerabilities, Snapchat ignored numerous warnings, and even issued a statement in which they dismissed the warnings as “theoretical.” Realizing that Snapchat did not take their warnings seriously, Gibson Security published 4.2 million user names and phone numbers online, but withheld the last two digits of each phone number published.  For a company that prides itself on maintaining the privacy of its users by self-destructing messages, such a large information breach was particularly embarrassing.

Although a recent update has been released that will help with the problem of increased spam, Snapchat warns its users they will see increased porn and weight loss spam, which is to be expected because of the rapidly rising popularity of the service.  To avoid unwanted photos, users have the option of receiving only videos and pictures from their friends in the application’s settings.  Under “Who Can…”, select “Send Me Snaps” and then select “My Friends.”

In addition, a new feature added to Snapchat after the hack of user information allows users to not link their user name to their mobile phone.  This option can also be found in the settings.  Click on the cell phone number and then change “Link username to mobile #” to off.

For those Snapchat users who have lost their faith in Snapchat due to the hack of their personal information as well as the increased porn and weight loss spam messages they are receiving, it is possible to delete accounts.  Because Shapchat does not store users’ videos or pictures, you can do so without leaving a trace.  In the application, access Settings, and scroll down to “Support.”  Once in the Support screen, click on “Learning the Basics.”  At the bottom of the screen, tap “Delete an Account.”  Enter password and the account will be permanently deleted.

By Jennifer Pfalz

Sources:

NBC News

Sydney Morning Herald

Digital Trends

Techlicious

Venture Beat

Business Insider

New Yorker

One Response to "Snapchat Users See Increased Porn and Weight Loss Spam"

  1. Taz   January 14, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Quit watching porn!!

    http://makingandtaking.com/5-reasons-quit-watching-internet-porn/

    Reply

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