12/21/2012 03:56 pm ET Updated Feb 20, 2013

The Naked Truth: Snapchat

Ever notice how once one App comes out, the others seem to just become less used and further into oblivion. A couple months ago Words With Friends was a huge hit among smart phone users, then it was Draw Something for a while. Now everyone keeps buzzing about Snapchat.

For those of you who do not have a smart phone or just do not give in to the Apps, Snapchat is an app where you can take a picture of anything and send it to someone for one to ten seconds and once they open it, it is lost for forever. So all those embarrassing photos you used to send your friends until they used them against you, this app makes it so they cannot blackmail you ever again. I am guilty, I love this app. It creates a fun way of communication between friends. I do not even text or call any of my friends that have Snapchat anymore; I just send them a photo with what I needed to say on it.

This app however, is not so safe. Keep in mind, anyone can take a screenshot of their phone's display if they can multitask their fingers to do so. Since this app sees over 20 billion photos shared a day and is also ranked number 4 on the list of top free apps; now more than ever you need to be careful of what you send to people.

This app has been considered a safe way to send naked photos according to teenagers. "I think that it could be a reliable source [for sexting] for people who want to use it because you can control how long the person sees it and since they won't be able to see it again after the time is up. People who wouldn't be inclined to sext in other situations might feel that it would be a safer way to do so without the possible repercussions of doing so." Anna* stated.  With this mindset, I would understand why people would consider this app as a safe guard but it even says in the privacy policy that it cannot guarantee any naked photos you send through the app will only be seen for ten seconds. "I don't think Snapchat is a reliable form of sexting. Even though you are able to set a specific amount of time that your picture can be viewed, is it always possible to save the picture to your phone or take a picture with another device? Any time you send any type of picture to a person, you run the risk of it being seen by people not intended to see it." Jessie* said.

For those of you who did not know about the not-so private measures of Snapchat, I hope you take in to consideration the safety methods now. Although Snapchat is meant for fun, it can be construed into dangerous actions. Just keep your wits about you when using this app and be smart.

*The real names were not used for privacy reasons.

By Alyssa Palmer, Florida State University