Is Your Information Safe When It Comes To These New Social Apps That “Temporarily” Hold Your Data?

Every few years the way that we communicate with each other changes. We are always on the lookout for some way to better our communications and somehow we always find the way. We went from sending letters to making phone calls and then being online. And in each of those giant revolutionary steps we have found ways inside of those technologies to make the way we communicate even better. With being able to phone people we found that we could have services like three way and call waiting. And with the internet we found that we could use email and chat via instant messaging. And now with us having the internet on our phones we have found ways to make our communication experience even more refined. We use apps now that allow us to communicate with short little 140 character text or we have apps that will allow us to communicate with images instead of words.


And it is these types of apps that we are going to focus on today. These types of apps are becoming a big deal and they are being used more and more all of the time. We have popular apps such as instagram and snapchat that allow us to use pictures instead of words to be able to communicate with each other. And people have shown that they really love these types of services. They like the fact that they are being more than told about the experiences that their friends are having, they are being shown. And it turns out that it is really an effective way to communicate with one another.

Some of these services have added a new wrinkle to what they offer that makes people think that they are safer for using them. What the services will do is allow people to send an image or text and they will be considered temporary. This means that the image or text will deleted in a short amount of time after it is set by the sender. And this is leading people to send more and more explicit types of communication with each other because they do not think that the communication will be around for a long time. But that is not the case and you should be aware of that. Whenever you are sending some type of data to another person’s device there will always be a way for that person to be able to save the data.

Whenever you are sending data to another person there has to be a time when that data is cached on the device that you sent it to. It does not appear on the device magically. So if the data is cached at any point in time on the device then that means that someone can create an app or look in the right place and be able to grab that data and keep it. Now while it is true that most people will not be able to do this, there are some that can. And if they do not do it manually they will create a tool that will allow them to do this. Some people will create the tool with malicious intent and some people will do it just because it is a challenge. It is your job to remember that there are tools like this that are out there.

So remember, just because the app says that the data is there temporary does not always mean that it is. So be careful when it comes to the data that you are sending even when you think that it will be temporary.

photo: thejimmylittle

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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