My Eyes Only Doesn’t Mean Your Eyes Only

My Eyes Only Doesn’t Mean Your Eyes Only

When Snapchat rolled out Memories, a personalized album of your favorite snaps and stories all saved into one secure place, it also introduced My Eyes Only. Snapchat’s My Eyes Only is a setting that allows you to passcode protect certain snaps or photos taken within the app.

This feature protects photos from the eyes of other people. It was designed for individuals wanting to share their memories with people without exposing more intimate photos. My Eyes Only is typically associated with nude pictures. This is Snapchat’s way of acknowledging that the app is used for sexting. Before this attribute, Snapchat was known as a hub for sending naked pictures due to the premise that the pictures disappear after an allotted amount of time. Now, Snapchat gives you a place to store more personal shots forever.

My Eyes Only was designed to protect your privacy. If a user forgets their passcode or gets locked out of their account, Team Snap won’t assist you in recovering it. Once that password is lost, the user’s only choice is to create a new one. When this occurs you can’t recover any content saved under My Eyes Only, you’ll lose everything that was once stored in Snapchat’s backdoor storage setting. Snapchat recommends not sharing your passcode with anyone.

However, the important concept to remember is that My Eyes Only doesn’t really mean your eyes only. You are sharing all the content saved within the app with Snapchat. Snapchat has never explicitly said they can’t see what you have saved. The privacy policy for the app expresses that no one can access your My Eyes Only photos without the passcode but Snapchat also backlogs that passcode and saves it to their server. This means your private images can be viewed by anyone who has access to Snapchat’s data.

The first topic that appears in any search engine when you type in “My Eyes Only” is “My Eyes Only Hack.” Snapchat’s feature to protect your privacy was created with a few flaws. The biggest being the ability for other users to hack into the account and steal the pictures saved to it. Once this action is taken, sextortion can occur. Sextortion is the practice of extorting money or sexual favors by threatening to reveal evidence of someone’s sexual activity. 

You could be targeted by someone you know or by a stranger. These individuals will lock you out of your My Eyes Only and use the nudes as leverage to gain something they want from you. If this happens to you or your child, it is a cybercrime. The best course of action to take is to save all the evidence of everything and come forward to the authorities who are better equipped to handle these types of schemes.

Snapchat is most used by 13 to 24-year-olds which means underage children may be using My Eyes Only to save child pornography to their devices. The best way to find out if your child is using My Eyes Only is to keep the conversation open and ask them to show you. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to see if your child is actively using My Eyes Only:

  1. Open Snapchat. 
  2. Push the photo album button, left of the camera trigger. 
  3. Select My Eyes Only in the top menu.

If your child has My Eyes Only, a location to type in the passcode will appear. However, if your child does not have My Eyes Only, the screen will offer the user the ability to set up an account. Using My Eyes Only is not the end of the world. Ask your child why they are using this feature? Who are they sharing these pictures with? And what they are saving to My Eyes Only?

This information does not guarantee online safety and is provided as a courtesy of Smart Gen Society.  SGS is not legally responsible for your family's digital planning or safety.