100,000 Snapchat photos get leaked, but Snapchat isn't to blame

A third-party web app for Snapchat saved snapped photos to its server, allowing hackers to get at them.

If you used a certain third-party Snapchat client, photos you received may be among the over 100,000 photos allegedly taken in a major privacy breach, according to Business Insider.

Anonymous users of the 4chan message boards say the leaked photos come via a Web-based third-party Snapchat client called SnapSaved. Normally, photos sent over Snapchat self-destruct after a few seconds, but SnapSaved allowed Snapchat users to save snaps that others send them.

According to Business Insider, SnapSaved is no longer active, but apparently hackers were able to find their way into the SnapSaved database and steal the images in question.

It's important to note that Snapchat itself was not compromised through this breach. If you only use the official Snapchat app, your account should be safe from this particular leak.

Engadget reports that the images in question "aren't actually online just yet," but goes on to say that 4chan users will make a searchable database of the photo haul public by Sunday, October 12.

Why this matters: Although it isn't entirely clear how hackers got ahold of these photos, this sort of data theft isn't a new problem, and it isn't going away any time soon. You may remember that just several weeks ago, hackers leaked nude photos of celebrities stored via Apple's iCloud service. If you have any personal information stored anywhere on the Internet--be it credit card numbers, emails, or salacious photos--you should probably assume that someone out there wants to get ahold of it.

Defending yourself against data leaks

You can't stop all data breaches--in many cases, hackers access data by exploiting a security flaw in a website or service, or by infecting a company's computers with malware--but you can take steps to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands.

First, be choosy with the sites and services you share data with, and what you share with them. Second, use strong passwords, and make sure your answers to those security questions aren't easy to guess. Third, use two-factor authentication whenever possible. And keep a close eye on your financial information and credit report: If you see something suspicious, report it to your financial institution.

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