Hackers Provoke Privacy Privileges

Savannah Lyman, Sophomore, engages in Snapchat daily. (Dennae Pigford)

Savannah Lyman, Sophomore, engages in Snapchat daily. (Dennae Pigford)

Dennae Pigford, A&F Editor

Once upon a time, social media was a great and friendly way to keep in touch with friends and family. Though there has always been hacks and crashes, what was to come at the end of 2015 changed that as a major multimedia hack among the popular application, Snapchat occurred.

“To hack the site, they have a lot of things in place to prevent it. But to go in through a user is easy because people are notorious about sharing information with the world around them,” said Rangeview High School technical teacher, Randy Mills. “Through an individual, a lot gets done.”

Over the course of the year 2015, social media has played a big part in the way the world is changing and growing, the most in the past. Towards the end of the thriving year, Snapchat was hacked, leaking 4.6 million different usernames and phone numbers to the universal public.

Within the hack, many photos were shared; some of which are of underage teenage girls, showing off their body. According to MobileMediaGuard.com, The State of Colorado does not have a separate statute that addresses sexting amongst minors. Therefore, in Colorado, creating, distributing or possessing an image of a minor engaged in sexual conduct may result in felony charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. Convictions under the sexual exploitation of a minor statute could result in jail time and registering with the State as a sexual offender, meaning that this hack is in violation with the law.

“The issue would be too massive for any one agency to handle. They tend to approach things on an individual basis, it’s too big. Similar to why they haven’t really done a lot about weed use before it was legalized because it was such a big hassle in such with small group to take it on,” commented Mills.

Due to the mass amount of publicity that this hack gets on other social media sites, especially Twitter, it seems hard to imagine that many people have not heard about it.

“ I was aware about the severity of the leak of information, it’s not that hard to find something and spread it , especially with the weak security of social media sites and the amount of personal info shared online,” said Sophomore, Angel-Kaye Luna.

Along with Snapchat being hacked and leaked, many teens have downloaded an app that allows one to enter a phone number and read the text messages linked to that number. This specific feature is mainly used to spy on one’s significant other.

Many believe that it was so easy for the hackers to get all the information because of all the information that was shared with the world through social media.

“The worst is the workplace or school, because there is a belief that the security of that place will protect them when in reality, they (people in general) should be just as diligent there as they are in the world,” said Mills. “Don’t share information. That’s the biggest thing, even with friends and make the passwords challenging so that someone can’t just get in with your birthday or your pets name.

The popular belief that one cannot be affected by something so vast just because is a major downfall of those affected; no one ever thinks it’ll happen to them until it does.

“It is possible that someone at Rangeview was affected. It isn’t just teens who use the internet and if it affects the teen the correlation of it affecting the parent/guardian is high,” said Luna, “There could be a small impact like people having tiny info about them taken but it could also be a big impact leading to emotional distress sometimes even jail time depending on what was hacked.”

In the aftermath of the hack, many ask what should we do next? Should one try and stop future hacks? But the truth is, there is not solid answer to these questions. As long as there is a human element, that’s the weak link. As long as humans are involved, there will be security problems.

“It should be stopped but considering the amount of people using social media it is extremely hard to control that traffic. I guess the best you could do is force social medias to be more strict about what is shared and/or make people more aware of the consequences of leaking stuff,” concluded Luna.