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4.6 million Snapchat users’ details stolen! Here’s what you need to know

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Was Snapchat hacked?
Sort of.  The big computers called servers that store users’ personal data haven’t been broken into, but an attacker used Snapchat’s Find Friends feature to get usernames and phone numbers of a large number of Snapchat users.

How many is a large number?
About 4.6 million.

Wow, how did they do it?
Find Friends is an optional Snapchat feature. You add your phone number to your account so that your mates can you find you in the app by searching for people in their phone’s address book. Using the Snapchat API (a tool for developers to use), the attackers uploaded a very large number of random phone numbers which matched with Snapchat users’ phone numbers – and could then discover the usernames associated with those numbers.

Then what?
Then the attackers put the list of usernames and (incomplete) phone numbers online for ANYONE to download.

Oh dear! So, what details were leaked?
The leaked data only included usernames and (incomplete) phone numbers. That photo of you doing something stupid? Probably not, no Snapchats were leaked.

Were my details included?
Don’t panic: if you’re in the UK, probably not. Only details of users in specific areas of America were leaked. You can use this website to check if your details are included in the leak by searching your username.

What should I do?
Two important things: always keep your social media platform passwords up to date and private, and only give apps and websites that you trust your phone number.

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Written by Oliver Meakings

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