Does Snapchat offer safe sexting from smartphones, or a false sense of security?

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Millions of teenagers have adopted a smartphone app which has been touted as a way of safely “sexting” and sharing naked pictures. But is it really a safe way to share intimate photographs of yourself?

Snapchat, which is available for both iPhone and Android devices, describes how senders can control how long a message or picture can be seen for, before it expires after a maximum of 10 seconds:

Snapchat is the fastest way to share a moment with friends.

You control how long your friends can view your message –
simply set the timer up to ten seconds and send.

They’ll have that long to view your message and then it disappears forever. We’ll let you know if they take a screenshot!

Snapchat timerIt sounds like a neat solution, if the picture is only visible for 10 seconds – that reduces the opportunity for others to forward it around the school campus, or post it for all to see on Facebook.

But the truth is that anyone can take a screenshot of their device (if they are nimble fingered enough) and create their own copy of the image…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

Found this article interesting? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter to read more of the exclusive content we post.


Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.