Snapchat is widely known as the sexting app, and many teens think it is safe. For parents and teens out there, here is another reason to be very wary of Snapchat.
You probably know that Snapchat’s popularity has soared recently. It is the 8th most popular free app in the App Store today. 150 million snaps are sent per day. The photo-sharing app has become a favorite of teens who like to send risqué photos to their significant other because of the novel structure of how it is built. Photos self-destruct after 1 – 10 seconds, the time limit being established by the sender. It’s perfect for a quick, naughty look.
If the person receiving the photo wants to keep a permanent copy, he can take a screen shot and the photo will be saved to his camera roll, but the sender is notified every time a recipient screen shots the photo, so at least she is fore warned.
Here’s the kicker. I just did an experiment with a colleague who has a jailbroken iPhone (here’s how to jailbreak an iPhone, but we don’t recommend it). For those not aware, jaibreaking an iPhone frees the user of restrictions dictated by Apple, and also installs on the phone a “jailbreak app store” called Cydia. Within the store, there is an app called Phantom, which enhances functionality of Snapchat, including allowing the recipient to save any given Shapchat to his camera roll without notifying the sender. Phantom takes it a step further – for a $2 donation, the creator of phantom will email you an update that automatically saves all Snapchat photos without notifying the sender.
Your private photos may not remain private, and you’d have no way of knowing.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.