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Snapchat users beware: Android screen-recording apps can immortalize your Snaps

Snapchat has turned itself into the messaging and entertainment hub for millennials with its messages that automatically erase themselves after a few seconds. Recently, the Huffington Post discovered that you can easily record Snapchat videos using a standard screen-recording app. Of course, these apps are only available on Android, so iOS users’ Snapchats are safe from screen recordings.

Recording a Snapchat is shady, especially since the person on the other end probably doesn’t know they’re being recorded. It also screws Snapchat out of the dollar fee it charges to let people replay videos. For 99 cents, the newly added replay-for-a-fee feature gives people three replays for any Snaps they choose – though you can only replay any given Snap once. We don’t recommend that you record Snapchat messages from others without their permission, but here’s how it’s done.

Your Snapchats can easily end up on YouTube if the person you sent the message to has a screen recording app.

Any Android user who downloads a screen recorder that doesn’t require rooting his or her device can record Snapchats and other activities taking place onscreen. One example is the No Root Screen Video Recorder — it’s ad-heavy, but it’s easy to use and has a lot of options. Open it up, and you can record everything on your screen, even ambient sound, and end up with a video you can edit or share directly to YouTube. In other words, your Snapchats — naughty or otherwise — can easily end up on YouTube if the person you sent the message to has a screen-recording app and decides to use it.

Related: Teens prefer Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (in that order) says new survey 

Unfortunately (or luckily, depending on your perspective) iPhone users can’t take advantage of this little cheat as easily. Apple blocks all use of screen recorders for the same privacy reasons just mentioned. If you want to record Snapchat video on an iPhone, you have to jump through a few more hoops, like jailbreaking or loading it from a site that’s not iTunes.

We’re not suggesting that you jailbreak your iPhone and download one of these apps, though. Be forewarned that jailbreaking and downloading apps from unknown app stores is often dangerous, and you do so at your own risk. Screen-recording apps are by nature a bit sketchy — they can also be used to steal passwords, logins, and other sensitive information that you input on your phone.

Recording people’s Snaps runs counter to the entire purpose of Snapchat, which is being able to send images and videos that are gone after you view them. It may also been seen as an invasion of privacy for those who don’t want their messages to live on past the allotted time in Snapchat’s app. In any case, it’s definitely a shady way of beating the system.