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Popular messaging app Snapchat was reportedly hacked last week, allowing hackers to download and share thousands of private images and videos, some of which were graphic in nature.
Snapchat is an app that allows users to send each other pictures or videos that purportedly "disappear" after being opened by the intended recipient. This feature has made Snapchat popular with teens and other users who wish to share photos or videos that they would not want to be made public or seen by other than the intended recipient.
According to Newsweek, last week's hack of Snapchat -- dubbed by some "The Snappening" -- may have exposed up to 200,000 Snapchat messages, with those photos and videos quickly being shared on sites like 4chan and Reddit.
The breach is Snapchat's second in less than a year. In late 2013 the company announced that the account information of at least 4.6 million Snapchat accounts had been compromised, with hackers obtaining and posting the usernames, phone numbers, and other account information connected to Snapchat accounts.
The hackers who posted the data allegedly intended the attack as a warning to Snapchat to beef up the company's security, which given the most recent release of Snapchat user images, the company may still be working on.
What can users do to help protect their privacy when using Snapchat? Here are three tips:
For more tips on maintaining privacy online and avoiding identity theft or the leak of personal information, check out FindLaw's Learn About the Law section on Online Safety.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.