Snapchat hacked, exposing user names and more info

A security breach exposed user names and phone numbers of users of Snapchat
January 3, 2014 3:40:22 AM PST
First it was websites, now the apps on your phone are falling victim to hackers.

More than four and a half million Snapchat users have had their phone numbers and user names exposed to the world.

If you do not have Snapchat, your kids probably do and even if they do not, you should still be concerned because apps hold so much of our information they may be the next target for hackers.

Houston Snapchat users Julian Cornado and Lauren Rothacher never miss a chance to share pictures and video with the app.

"I used it like ten, ten minutes ago," said Cornado.

What the couple did not know was that 4.6 million Snapchat users were hacked, their phone numbers and user names plastered on the internet. A team of security researchers did it to prove the anonymous picture and video sending site had lax security. It's got Cornado wondering about the safety of his other apps.

"Because I have a bunch of apps that have my private information, my name, pictures of me and my family and phone number and things like that, so it is worrying," said Cornado.

There is a way to find out if your Snapchat information was compromised.

The website GS Lookup can find if your user name and phone number were exposed. There's reason to be concerned according to Houston risk management expert Bruce Brenner.

"Bits and pieces of the information, a good identity thief can go to the internet and put the rest of the puzzle together," said Brenner.

You can take steps to make sure your social media information is never used to access your financial accounts.

  • First, keep user names on financial sites different from social media accounts.
  • Next, never use the same password for anything.
  • Finally, create an email address for social media accounts that is different from the one you use for financial sites.
If your user name and number were exposed, you can ask your phone carrier for a new number.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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