Oh Snap! Poke and Snapchat Aren’t Private?
For those who like sending photos and videos under controlled circumstances, Snapchat and Poke seemed like the perfect solution. With these apps, one could send a photo or video to someone and program it to automatically “self destruct” in a matter of seconds. It seemed like a wonderful, safe idea.
Wonderful, yes. Safe? Not so much, at least based on recent discoveries posted by a user on the BuzzFeed website. All one has to do is plug an iPhone into their computer and manually navigate to the folders for Snapchat and Poke in an iPhone browser.
After navigating to the appropriate folder, apparently, videos can be manually moved from the device to the computer and permanently stored. From there, anarchy could reign, giving the user the power to upload the video anywhere.
The good news is that this possible bug seems to affect only videos; photos appear to be safe from this undesired capability.
Both Snapchat and Facebook released statements acknowledging the issue. Facebook’s statement pointed out that all a recipient has to do is take a screenshot, but said that a fix is forthcoming. Snapchat’s statement to Buzzfeed said that “[t]here will always be ways to reverse engineer technology products — but that spoils the fun!”
Although these apps provide the capability to send photos or videos that automatically delete themselves, one would do well to keep in mind that screenshots can be taken of just about anything. Even though the sender will get a notice that a screenshot has been taken, the damage, so to speak, will have already been done.
Our advice regarding these apps would be this: by all means, use them. They take social networking to a whole new level. However, remember that anything you send to anyone can wind up on the Internet, or any number of other undesired locations.
Although someone would have to go to a lot of trouble to get videos through the method mentioned above, it seems that it can be done. Let this latest news be a word to the wise.