The word “hack” almost automatically comes hand-in-hand with a negative connotation, so when we open up a topic on “how to hack Snapchat,” bear with us for some illuminating and enlightening explanation! This is bound to be an interesting read…
First off, it’s important to clarify that “hack” is an extremely broad umbrella term that gets falsely associated with negative stories and controversy almost constantly. Any malicious behavior or exploitive effort in the digital era is offhandedly referred to as a “hack” most of the time. While this might not necessarily be an incorrect way to refer to such activity, it also has come to imply that any type of hack or hacking is by default illicit behavior. This could not be further from the truth.
In it simplest form, hacking is simply manipulating a program or code in ways that weren’t intended by the person (or people) responsible for creating it. You can read that sentence as many times as you’d like, and you’ll never find anything inherently malicious in it, even though it can certainly be applied with harmful intent. Today, we’re going to cover hacks for one of the most popular social media apps that are currently trending, but it’s important to keep in mind that when we talk about hacking Snapchat, we’re not necessarily talking about harmful behavior. Nor are we condoning or encouraging hacking in any way. Our goal, dear readers, is to inform, so consider this an educational venture into the realm of hacking.
We’ve already shed a bit of light on why the word “hacking” doesn’t need to inspire a fearful, knee-jerk reaction, but we’ll continue that trend as we move through this topic. There are quite a few legitimate reasons why users might want to hack Snapchat, and they’re all inherently tied to the way that the app works against itself, according to certain points of view. Hacking doesn’t necessarily mean compromising any data in any harmful way, after all.
Why Hack Snapchat?
Before looking at any ways that a person might hack the Snapchat app, it’s important to consider why that person might want to do it in the first place. After all, aimless hacking might be a fun recreation, but it’s hardly productive and most efforts that require significant knowledge and expertise don’t happen without the proper motivation. Let’s explore a few of those motivations, several of which we’ll be able to provide citations for.
Encourage Greater Security
Just like the topic of hacking, this can be a difficult one to address. In many instances, hackers have claimed that their motivation for hacking and stealing data from apps such as Snapchat and other popular social media entities is to encourage those apps’ developers to strengthen their security. There’s a two-sidedness to this sort of hacking that can occasionally leave an app’s users caught in the middle. This has happened to Snapchat more than once, and on each occasion, millions of users have had their eyes potentially opened to the very real need for better security on their part. As for the developers, it’s only natural that such a motivation would force them to strengthen the security of their app.
In one instance, more than 4 million users’ snaps and login information was exposed in one such hack. Is this an example of illicit, punishable behavior? Absolutely. Does the above motivation help to absolve the hackers of any guilt in doing so? That’s a much more subjective question, but the fact that it could be done at all is a sign to an app’s developers that they’re not doing enough to protect their users.
Recover ‘Self-Destructing’ Snaps
I often joke that Snapchat is the “Mission Impossible” of social media applications, with its self-destructing images and videos that are meant to be digested quickly. However, many users resent not being able to control how long they keep and view the media that’s shared on Snapchat, which has led hackers to find sufficient means to not only recover these images but also share them and spread them. Occasionally, this motivation crossed over with that we just covered–ultimately, this behavior encourages the Snapchat devs to bolster their server security.
Occasionally, this sort of hacking takes a more roundabout method of accessing Snapchat information, which users like you should also be made aware of. Since more than just hackers have wanted to save the media that they’re viewing on Snapchat, numerous third-party apps have cropped up on popular app stores that allow users to do just that. However, a problem then occurs in that Snapchat no longer has access to (or responsibility for) the security of their users on these third-party programs. Hence, hackers with any intent, good or bad, are able to obtain users’ media outside of the control of where that media first appeared: on Snapchat.
If it seems like a confusing web of connecting apps and motivations and information exchange, that’s because it is. It’s also why popular media has such a difficult time talking about “hacking” without implying a negative connotation.
How to Hack Snapchat
Though we’ve touched upon a few of the ways that hackers manage to get ahold of other users’ information in Snapchat, each method could use some elaboration. Needless to say, every method requires a not insignificant amount of expertise. An app as popular as Snapchat is exceptionally well coded. When the personal information of millions of people are entrusted to a single app, how can it not be?
Hacking a Third-Party App
One of the most common techniques used by hackers, no matter their intention, is to avoid going through the expertly coded security of a superstar application entirely, and instead exploit users’ reliance on third-party apps to the same effect. As I pointed out earlier, many users try to use third-party applications to circumvent the rules and design of apps like Snapchat. Certain third-party apps purport to “save” the images and videos used on the social media platform, but they also require a user’s information in order to do it. In other popular messaging and chat services, users sideload modified version of apps in order to use custom themes and “homebrew” features that aren’t available in the official app. This, too, allows hackers to work on the usual security present in a big-name application.
Direct Security Breaches
These are the ones that you hear about on the news. “Snapchat hack affects 4.6 million users,” is what one story claimed, and always this sort of reporting sets the alarm bells tolling in people that continue to use the app. In truth, it’s a reason to be aware, rather than alarmed.
A direct security breach comes as a result of a hacker finding a way either into an application’s hosting servers, the communications that occur between that server and various users, or both. From these particular vantage points, all manner of information can be collected for any purpose. It’s also a much more difficult hack to achieve, and quickly calls into question the motivation a person may have in carrying it out. Though financial information–such as credit cards or social security numbers–are rarely carried in a user’s profile in a social media app, their phone numbers, usernames, and passwords often are. When a hack like this occurs, it’s definitely enough to disrupt your daily life.
Even a cursory search of “hacking Snapchat” in your search engine will reveal dozens of websites that are eager to tell you that, with only a limited amount of information, they can hack any user on the popular social media app. They’ll claim to be able to source chat histories, media, and even personal information of other users by “hacking” into the otherwise secure databases on these apps’ servers.
I can say with little reservation that many of these are outright scams, designed to convince you to forfeit your own information (or someone else’s) with the promise of providing hacking services. Examine news-media’s coverage of hacking scandals. When a hack actually occurs in one of these apps, such as Snapchat, and the information of millions of users is potentially exposed, it’s a big deal. If the dozens of voices claiming their ability to hack Snapchat upon request had legitimacy behind them, that would change the rarely-occurring, alarmist narrative about hacking wouldn’t it?
The truth of the matter is that most everyday users that want to “hack” Snapchat aren’t out to gain access to individuals’ personal information. Most users want to retain the images and video that Snapchat “self-destructs” after it’s seen. Moreover, users are always eager to apply aesthetic and themes to their Snapchat experience that aren’t available in the official app, and will often turn to third-party resources to get it.
For all of the clamor and noise over “hacking,” two things are certain: it always leads to developers bolstering their security to prevent future exploits and illicit data access. Secondly, it’s not going away anytime soon! The deeper we get into the digital era, and the more that we immerse ourselves in the language of technology, the more people are going to find themselves with the expertise and knowledge capable of carrying out hacks.
For now, however, “how to hack Snapchat” will remain an educational venture into the reality behind how actual hackers work (and how rarely they carry out that work).