Snapchat has just received a small yet significant update — significant especially in light of the popular ephemeral messaging app’s recent security breach.

According to its release notes, the latest update to Snapchat brings nothing more than Find Friends improvements and bug fixes. But the former set of improvements is actually worthy of note. This is because it constitutes an important move on the part of Snapchat in response to recent API abuse resulting in exposure of users’ usernames and phone numbers.

Snapchat’s Find Friends feature is meant to help friends find one another on the Snapchat network by linking their usernames to their respective phone numbers. But following the new Snapchat update, users can now opt out of linking the aforementioned personal details. This can be done by going to the Mobile # section in the app’s settings and disabling the “Link username to mobile #” option.

The update also requires new users to verify their phone numbers before using the Find Friends feature.

Along with the update, the Snapchat team has issued the following apology:

Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.

The new version of Snapchat is available now in the App Store for free. The app is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later.

See also: Snapchat 6.1 Features Smart Filters, Front-Facing Flash And Other Additional Services, Snapchat Reveals It Manually Retrieves ‘Snaps’ By Request Of Law Enforcement Officials, and Snapchat 6.0 Goes Beyond Ephemeral Snaps And Into Longer-Lasting Stories.