Snapchat has added an option for two-factor authentication in its latest update, following in the footsteps of Apple, Twitter and Facebook, reports The Verge.

With the recently released 9.9.0 update, Snapchat users can help keep their account secure against hackers and ensure that their personal files are protected. Users who choose to activate this feature will need to enter a six-digit password when signing in from a new device, as well as a verification code that is sent via SMS each time they want to log in.

The security measure ensures that only someone with physical access to a smartphone linked to the account can sign in to the app. Once the feature has been set up, users are also given a recovery code in case their phone becomes lost or broken.

According to Threat Post, the introduction of this feature is Snapchat’s attempt to “mend those fences” in the wake of widespread criticism from those is the security and privacy industry. Snapchat suffered a security blow last year when a third-party Snapchat site allowed users to bypass the app's privacy, leading to the leak of 200,000 photos that users believed had 'self-destructed.'

Tech Week Europe have said that Snapchat hopes to encourage more users to download the app by promoting more confidence in the app’s ability to protect private data.

The update also includes a new feature that allows users to switch between front and back cameras while recording a video, and a new battery filter which allows snappers to share their battery life with friends.

Two-step authentication will be an optional Snapchat feature and is available now on devices running both iOS and Android. It can be enabled in the app's Settings menu.

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