After 4.6 million numbers and usernames were hacked from Snapchat’s database on New Years Day, the company has finally issued an apology one week later.
Security experts had warned the company that they were vulnerable to hack revolving around their user data. This prompted hackers to expose this flaw and leak this information online.
But when news of the leak broke, Snapchat failed to apologise. Instead, the company just explained how the hack happened.
Snapchat put up a blog post early this morning explaining that it updated the app today that will allow users to turn off the “Find Friends” feature that hackers used to expose all those phone numbers. Find Friends requires you to enter your phone number so Snapchat can match it against its database to help you find other contacts in your address book who are also using Snapchat. It’s one of the key ways Snapchat has been able to grow its user base.
Also, the blog post notes that new members will be required to verify their phone number when they join the service. The post concludes with an apology:
Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.
While this mea culpa probably isn’t what people were looking for, the update can hopefully prevent this from occurring again.
Here’s how to turn off Find Friends in the newly updated Snapchat app. Make sure you go to the “Updates” section in the App Store or Google Play on your device to see if you have the latest version.
This is the main menu for Snapchat. Click on the cog icon in the upper right and go to Settings.
Here’s the Settings page. Tap on Mobile #.
At the center of the screen, swipe to the left to turn off the option of linking your username to your phone number. That’s all it takes!
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