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Meet the App that Can Help Protect Your Photos From The Snapchat Hackers

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Yovo scrambles or blurs your photos to ensure that they stay private

A new messaging app is looking to dispel fears over how to keep smartphone photos private by providing what it says is one of the most enhanced privacy tools yet.

Yovo, produced by security firm ContentGuard, is a free app available for iOS devices which looks to take on the likes of Snapchat by not only allowing timed display of images, but also allowing users to protect both images and messages via its patented scrambling technology. This blurs the selected images by placing a grid over the top, and allows the user to choose which of their contacts gets to view it, either through their phone number or via social media.

If the recipient tries to take a screenshot of the original, it will always result in an image with blurred sections, unlike Snapchat, which only sends a notification to the sender when this happens.

Users can also set self-destruct timers for their Yovo ‘moments’ – whether photos or screenshots of their device – meaning they are automatically deleted after a certain period of time. This can vary from anywhere between one second to 24 hours, as the app looks to provide a more secure version of Snapchat’s timed photos.

yovo photo blurring appDigital trail

The release of Yovo comes at a perfect time for Snapchat users worried that their images may be among a 13GB stash of photos allegedly stolen from the app by hackers who made them available for download on notorious website 4chan.

“Everyone is becoming more conscious of the digital trail they leave. It seems as though there isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t see a headline about the consequences of inadvertent or malicious digital publication of our private lives,” said Scott Richardson, ContentGuard’s chief product officer.

“Let’s face it — not every moment or message is meant to be shared or stay online forever. Yovo represents a new way to create and share photos and messages in a more private, fun and interactive way.”

Snapchat has recently been hit by several security issues, including the leak of 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers at the beginning of this year. More recently the service found that hackers had gained control of users’ accounts and used them to send spam messages.

In May, Snapchat also settled charges by US regulators of misleading its users over deleted messages and data collection.

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