When you post photos and videos on your private accounts on Instagram and Facebook, they might not be as private as you'd expect. There's a rather simple hack that allows your friends and followers to access, download, and share these supposedly private contents publicly. This method works on Instagram stories as well and only requires basic knowledge of HTML and a web browser.
The process involves inspecting the images and videos loaded on the page and extracting the source URL. This public URL can then be shared with people who are not logged in to Instagram or don't follow the private user. The shocking part is that this workaround even works for private Instagram stories that are supposed to last only 24 hours, as well as for deleted content.
Facebook's own content delivery network hosts all this data, so the hack also applies to private Facebook content. This means if someone shares the link, they can expose the private content to non-friends and non-followers without you ever knowing who saw it or how many people did.
Unlike taking a simple screenshot, these public URLs contain detailed information about the photo or video, including upload details and dimensions, making them more authentic and impossible to fake. Additionally, even if you delete photos or videos, they are still stored and accessible on Facebook's content delivery network. Considering Facebook's history of privacy missteps, this loophole allowing easy access to explicitly designated private content is particularly concerning. In the past, similar loopholes have been discovered, but the issue remains unresolved. It highlights the need for better privacy protections and accountability from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Knowing this, we hope you think about how much faith you put into technologies like social media platforms to keep your identity and personal information "safe" and "private."
Check out Faith Over Technology, #1 in Teen Health on Amazon Kindle today.