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Published January 02, 2014, 09:56 PM

Security breach in the Snapchat app leaks phone numbers and usernames

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A security breach with a popular photo-sharing app has some questioning the safety of device apps. 4.6 million Snapchat users had their usernames and phone numbers leaked online. But there are steps you can take to keep your information safer.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A security breach with a popular photo-sharing app has some questioning the safety of device apps.

4.6 million Snapchat users had their usernames and phone numbers leaked online.

But there are steps you can take to keep your information safer.

The good news for many of our viewers is that the 701 and 218 area codes were not among those hacked.

But more than 7,000 people in Minnesota's 320 and 612 area codes were.

"I think just about everybody has Snapchat nowadays."

It's a popular social media trend mainly among young people, like Davies student Tyler Mueller.

Tyler Mueller/Snapchat User: "I use it a couple times a day just to communicate with friends in a different way."

But on New Years' Day, a group of "hacktivists" downloaded and posted the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million SnapChat users their way of pointing out gaps in security.

Brian Schott, service manager at BluePrint Computer Solutions in Fargo says people need to be cautious of which apps they use.

Brian Schott/BluePrint Computer Solutions: "People who create apps are entrepreneurs they're looking for a way to make money not so worried about the security."

Before hitting "install," he says find out what people are saying about the app do some research, read reviews, and take notice of any problems with the program.

And Schott recommends not using the same username and password for multiple apps and accounts.

Schott: "If your bank account has the same username that can compromise your security."

The breach may not stop users from snapping, but Mueller says it will make him think twice.

Mueller: "I'll probably be more careful about what I send."

If you are worried that your information was released, you can visit this website created by Gibson Security, who actually warned Snapchat about the possibility of a breach on December 25th.

You type in your username, and it will let you know if your account was compromised.

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