Snapchat is an increasingly popular way to keep in touch with friends. With an estimated 100 million daily users, some 60 percent of young Americans are Snapping and Chatting. Let me repeat that: it’s not that 60 percent of their users are young Americans… 60 percent of all young Americans are using Snapchat. By some estimations, it has become more popular than social media giant Twitter.
However, being a part of this popular social media trend, and having the app prominently placed on your phone, won’t do you any good if you get locked out of your account. This article will walk you through the process of making your Snapchat account more secure, using Snapchat’s registration codes and verification system.
Snapchat doesn’t want to lose any users, of course, so fortunately, the Snapchat registration codes and verification system are actually quite easy and straight forward.
People are prone to taking mental shortcuts. They may know that they shouldn’t give out certain information, but the fear of not being nice, the fear of appearing ignorant, the fear of a perceived authority figure — all these are triggers, which can be used by a social engineer to convince a person to override established security procedures. — Kevin Mitnick
When You Will Need Snapchat Codes and Verification
Here at Appamatix, we’re no strangers to Snapchat and the Snapchat community — whether we’re helping you decode Snapchat’s icons or just sharing some of the more interesting Snaps circulating out there, we’re here to help the new and veteran Snapchat users alike get the most out of their Snapchat experiences.
However, as much fun as Snapchat can be, if you use this popular messaging sercice, Snapchat is a part of your social media presence (or online footprint.) And if you’re interested in controlling what that presence looks like (and you really should be), then you may be a little nervous about what happens when somebody gets your login information, or if they get their hands on one of your devices.
This is especially true for something like Snapchat, which is not only the place where we have many of our more sensitive communications, but also has the Snapcash feature which allows for monetary exchanges. As some of you may be aware, Snapcash was born out of a partnership with Square, the company that produces the app and hardware package that turns any iOS device into a cash register. And while Square is pretty on the ball when it comes to security, as soon as Snapchat added the Snapcash feature, I immediately began looking for ways to make my Snapchat account more secure, because this was a feature I easily saw myself using.
Now, Snapchat hasn’t had the best track record with security in the past, particularly when it comes to the security of its users’ account information. But recently (very recently), they’ve been making leaps and bounds to improve how they protect your data. Some of these improvements have to do with staffing (such headhunting Jad Boutros from Google to head their security team), and some of these improvements are surely some under-the-hood coding changes. But there is at least one security change which has been added to the user experience.
I’m speaking of Snapchat’s new optional feature, which they’re calling (simply enough) Login Verification. Sometimes referred to as “two-factor verification,” this is an optional feature that will require you to enter not only your Snapchat login information, but also a special code sent to you by SMS (vanilla text messaging) whenever you want to sign into Snapchat on a new device.
How to Enable Login Verification
Login verification is very simple, and it’s a great idea, but it is entirely optional. Opting in is easy. In order to opt in, first, tap on the Snapchat ghost that appears on your camera screen.
In the new screen that comes up (the profile screen), hit the gear icon (which has almost universally become the go-to icon for settings menus.) It should be in the upper right-hand corner.
Under “My Account,” tap “Login Verification.”
Tap “Continue” when prompted.
At this point you’ll get an SMS message with the verification code. Enter that and hit continue.
And that’s it. Snapchat will now trust this device until you choose to “Forget” it.
Which brings us to our next item…
How to Forget a Verified Snapchat Device
We get new devices all the time. And we should, to keep up with the capabilities of the new hardware. I mean, if I still had my first cell phone, I’d look quite a sight out there…
But that means getting rid of the old devices. And sometimes, we’ll just lose the things. Especially with a lost or stolen phone, it’s nice to be able to manually “forget” devices that have been Verified with Snapchat Registration codes.
Forgetting a device is just as easy as verifying one, and it can be done entirely though the app. You begin the same way as above: tap the ghost, hit the gear in your profile screen, and choose “Login Verification” under the “My Account” menu. Only now, the option you’re going to choose is “Forget Devices.”
This will bring up a menu of all the devices that have been Verified under your Snapchat account using Snapchat registration codes. Just select the devices you want to forget, tap “Continue,” and you’re done. Now, if you’ve miplaced your phone, you (or more accurately, your friends) are going to rest easy knowing that nobody is going to be intercepting those sensitive Snaps.
Tip: Keep Your Recovery Code
Now, say you have lost your phone. Or, less drastically, let’s just say that you’ve gotten a new mobile number. You will not be able to sign in to your Snapchat account from the new device without the registration code.
Let me repeat that in a scarier typeface just to be clear: You will not be able to sign in to your Snapchat account from a new device (if you have elected to use the two-factor verification) if you do not have the most recent registration code.
So, if you’ve used registration and you’ve entered that number, don’t just delete the message that it came in. I’m going to ask you to do something very old school here: Write the number down. Snapchat takes its security seriously (and honestly, who’s not glad to see that) so in the end, it’s a good thing this is such a hassle. But you can save yourself a lot of headache if you have that registration code somewhere you can get to it. And perhaps in your jean pocket or under your pillow are not the best options.
If you still have a trusted Snapchat device, fortunately you don’t have to depend on still having the text from whenever you set up your verification. You can get your account’s verification code any time. Just go to the same “Login Verification” menu I guided you to in the last two sections. Only, instead of verifying or forgetting new devices, this will bring up your registration code.
Save this somewhere secure.
Using the Recovery Code
So let’s say that you’ve held on to your recovery code. When you get a new phone is when it really starts to pay off. You’ll just download and install Snapchat as usual, and then log in. But, because you opted for the two-factor verification, you’ll be prompted for that registration code. Feel secure as you enter that code. In fact, let’s see if you can work up a little smugness, because that extra step is a step that’s keeping your account that much more secure.
Finally, I cannot stress enough how important it is to hold on to your Snapchat registration code. I was sure there had to be some sort of back door through the website, or maybe a 1 – 800 number to call that would unlock your account. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything of the sort. Apparently, Snapchat wants you to guard your account information with the same level of diligence that you do your Social Security number, because I can find no way around the Snapchat Registration code if you’ve lost yours. (Short of hacking the entire service, but that seems a bit extreme.) So I guess, in whatever physical filing cabinet you use to keep your birth certificate, your car title, and that portrait of yourself that ages so you can stay eternally young — I guess you should keep your Snapchat registration in the same place.
But then again, if it’s that extreme, maybe you’ll just find it easier to delete your whole account and start over.
Let’s not forget though: the Snapchat Codes and Verification are optional. If you do not take action to activate this on your account, or if you choose not to opt in, then nothing is going to change for you. Given the permanency of the Registration Code Verification system, I can understand if anybody out there may be a little hesitant. Normally, whenever there’s any sort of new option security feature for any of the apps I use or rely on, I whole-heartedly advise all of you to take a look at it and opt in.
However, given these restrictions, I know that the Login Verification and the Registration Codes won’t be for everybody. Still, you should at least take a look at it. And remember, Snapchat is still pretty young. Maybe in the future they’ll expand their customer service operation enough to allow for some alternate means of unlocking your account. That’s all speculative, though, and I wouldn’t hold my breath for it.
If anybody has found a way that Snapchat offers for those users who have lost their code, or if any of you have any questions, feel free to mention them in the comments. And stay safe out there.