Be aware of the risks on Snapchat

Students who are sending nude photos or photos of drug paraphernalia to huskie_snaps should think twice before doing so.

Snapchat, a photo messaging app, enables users to send photos or video clips, called snaps, which can be viewed for up to 10 seconds. Users can also send them to the huskie_snaps story, where subscribers can view a sequence of snaps. An anonymous user filters the submissions and posts them to the huskie_snaps story.

This anonymous user has the ability to keep and send out the snaps he or she receives to anyone. When students send out pictures of their naked bodies or pictures of themselves using illegal substances, those snaps are out there for anyone to see, including law enforcement.

Sending inappropriate snaps becomes a legal issue when everyone who follows huskie_snaps is amused by some of its explicit material — people getting drunk, doing drugs or getting photographed naked — when the pictured people might not have consented to their photo or video being taken.

The anonymous user who is controlling huskie_snaps can be anyone: your neighbor, classmate or best friend. Once you send him or her a snap, it’s out there forever and can be used for malicious purposes. People who view the snaps are able to screenshot them during the 10 seconds they are shown.

Those who post naked shots shouldn’t be surprised if a snap pops up on the day of their wedding, just as those who share photos of drug use shouldn’t be shocked if the clip ends up in the lap of a potential employer.