In short, no. It’s impossible for someone to hack your Snapchat just by adding you. They can, however, hack you if you interact with them in specific ways. Scammers and hackers take advantage of those methods so it’s important to be aware of them to protect yourself.
Hi, I’m Aaron, an information security professional. I do research on potential hacks and share my findings with you so you can be a little more safe online.
In this article, I’ll explain why simply adding someone as a friend won’t result in a Snapchat account being hacked. I’ll also highlight some of the ways you can be hacked and how to avoid them.
Table of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- Why Adding You on Snapchat Won’t Get You Hacked
- How You Can Get Hacked Through Snapchat
- Just adding someone on Snapchat won’t result in them getting hacked.
- After adding someone, however, falling for a phish can get you hacked.
- You can also be hacked if you use simple passwords or reuse passwords.
- Your best bet is avoiding contact you don’t want or expect altogether.
Why Adding You on Snapchat Won’t Get You Hacked
Snapchat is a platform that allows people to communicate virtually. They’re like text messaging or iMessaging, except the message disappears after it’s viewed.
The app is designed to facilitate communication by adding friends and messaging people directly. That necessitates giving people your username. People can’t hack your Snapchat just because they have your username or because they add you. There’s no known way to do that.
How You Can Get Hacked Through Snapchat
Typically, getting hacked requires some interaction on your part, either to download malicious content designed to compromise your device or to steal your account login information. In this section, I’ll outline some of the ways that happens and how you can avoid compromise.
Snap Map and Your Location
You may think you’ve been hacked because others know your location without you telling them where you are. They may have your location because of Snap Map.
Snap Map shows your location and the location of all your friends. It also shows your friends your location and the locations of all their friends. So if someone adds you as a friend and you accept, they will know your location.
You have two ways to disable this. The first is turning on Ghost Mode in Snapchat. That lets you interact with Snapchat but doesn’t provide your location. Snapchat still gets your location, though.
The other method is turning off location services in Snapchat’s app permissions. Even if you don’t have Ghost Mode turned on, Snapchat can’t get your exact location and so you’ll effectively be hidden from Snap Map.
There are other ways to actually hack your Snapchat, including…
Social engineering is a broad class of fraud that takes advantage of human psychology to hack a person and extract information or steal money from them. Typically, that involves creating a relationship of trust that can be exploited.
Phishing is the most common form of social engineering online. Phishing involves sending an electronic communication to build the trust relationship. That can either be someone purporting to be a friend or purporting to be a legitimate business.
It’s an incredibly successful form of fraud. Most people don’t verify electronic communications and take them at face value. So a scammer can pretend to be a person they’re not or a business they don’t represent and build or leverage a relationship to make demands.
Phishing can happen via Snapchat messages, email, or another platform. If the scammer requests a user’s Snapchat password and the user provides it, then the scammer can hack the account. Alternatively, they can ask questions designed to extract personal information, which can make guessing the password easier.
There are other things scammers can do with phishing communications like…
Instead of asking for your password directly, scammers can provide you with a link or a download. Once you proceed to the link, you may be asked to log in to a seemingly legitimate web portal. Instead, you’ve provided the scammer with your login information that they can use to access your Snapchat account.
Alternatively, the link can lead to a file download. Opening the file deploys malware on your device. That malware can then compromise your device and provide information to the scammer.
To avoid this kind of scam, don’t click on links you don’t know or don’t expect to receive. If you click on a link and download a file, don’t open the file. Delete it. Alternatively, if you click on a link and it goes to a login page, check to make sure the web address or URL is legitimate.
Hackers can also obtain your account information if you…
If you use the same password on different websites with roughly the same username, a hack of one of those sites means that your identity is compromised across many sites.
Ideally, you should only use a password once on a specific website. You can either create a very memorable password or use a password manager to make sure that you have a unique password for each service.
You can also be hacked if you use…
You should also make sure to use a long and complex password. The longer and more complex the password, the more secure it is.
It’s more secure because it’s more complicated to guess using brute force techniques. Brute force password guessing is when all possible passwords for a specific length and complexity are generated.
Be careful not to use a password that’s too complex for you to remember. You want it to be something you can remember but that’s difficult to guess.
Here’s my advice:
- Make it longer than 12 characters.
- Use upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Don’t use something easy to guess like Iloveicecream123! Instead, think of words not directly related to each other, like SplitVanillaChocolateStrawberry231!
- Don’t reuse variations on the same password, like only changing the numbers at the end of the password, as that makes it a lot easier to guess.
Your best bet is to…
If you get a message, friend request, email, or other communication you can always avoid engaging with it. Just ignore it.
If the communication suggests that you may lose access to your account if you don’t do something, reach out to Snapchat via its publicly available support contacts to verify. If the request is legitimate, the support staff will be able to assist you. If it isn’t, then you’ve avoided a potential scam.
Here are some answers to questions related to hacking Snapchat by adding someone as a friend.
How Would I Know if My Snapchat was Hacked?
Look for odd behavior from your account. If messages are sent to people you don’t know or if you see spam sent from your account that you didn’t send, then you may be hacked. Change your password immediately.
Can Someone Access Your Snapchat Friends?
Only if they have access to your account or are friends with your Snapchat friends. In the former situation, access to your Snapchat friends is the least of your worries. In the latter situation, they have access in the sense that they’re also friends with your friends, but they can’t see your friend list directly.
What is SnapHack?
SnapHack is an iOS app that saves Snapchats to your camera roll. It does so without the sender knowing. Consequently, it effectively gets around the deletion of the Snap once viewed.
A hacker can’t gain access to your Snapchat account just because they added you on Snapchat. There are other things the hacker can do after that to gain access to your Snapchat account. So long as you’re aware of those schemes and pay attention to your Snapchat use to avoid them, then you’ll be relatively safe from hacking.
Do you know someone who was scammed on Snapchat? What happened?