Picture messaging and sexting app Snapchat has finally made improvements to boost log-in security for users, adding two-factor authentication to the latest software version.
Now iOS and Android users who download the latest version of the app can switch on the service inside the settings menu.
This means that Snapchat will send a one-time, six digit passcode to the account holder’s phone number if anyone tries to access the account from a new device.
The idea is to boost account security by limiting the opportunities for hackers to gain unauthorized access.
It will also protect users who send money to each other within the Chat feature via Snapcash.
The update features a recovery code which can be used in the event a user loses or can’t access their device.
The long overdue move to two-factor authentication for account access comes as Snapchat looks to repair its rather battered image in the privacy and security world.
Most famously it was reported to the FTC after it emerged that users’ content isn’t actually deleted after viewing as originally thought but merely ‘hidden’.
Then a security flaw led to the exposure of 4.6 million user details online including usernames and phone numbers.
Soon after that PR disaster, Snapchat launched a captcha feature for new users to try and arrest a growing spam problem on the platform. However, within just a few hours of launching, this too was hacked by enterprising scammers.
Not to be deterred, Snapchat hired former Google security exec, Jad Boutros, to be its new director of information security.
It has also launched a bug bounty program via the HackerOne platform in a bid to boost the security of its underlying code base.
Tony Pepper, CEO of encryption specialist Egress, argues that moves by consumer tech providers like Snapchat and Facebook to improve security will have a knock-on effect in the enterprise.
“As employees become increasingly knowledgeable about these features, they are set to demand the same level of security and functionality in the workplace,” he told Infosecurity.
“The tides are turning. The days of IT departments imposing top-down security measures on staff are behind us and employees will start to seize the initiative. Increasingly, we will see informed employees banging on IT’s door, demanding sophisticated security solutions designed with ease of use in mind.”