6 Ways to Make Sure Your Child's Safe on Snapchat
12 October 2018
Snapchat is one of the most popular apps among young children today. Snapchat is commonly the first social media app that children are allowed to download as parents can often perceive it to be the safest app because they believe they don’t have access to as many outsider dangers. However, with recent updates, children are now exposed to explicit content in the discover section and can have their exact whereabouts showing.
The main features:
- Setting photos or videos they take to their ‘story’ so everyone they are friends with can see.
- Appearing on snapchat maps.
- Seeing hotspots. Hotspots are stories from all around the world posted by anyone. You can make your own hotspot my posting a snapchat or snap video to your current location this can then be seen by everyone.
- Reading the discover section which contains celebrities ‘stories’ and news/ magazine articles from around the world.
- Calling, texting, and video chatting with friends.
- Sending photos or videos to specific friends
Understanding the features
Stories: Users set stories by taking a photo and then posting it to their ‘story’. This is different from sending a normal snapchat as a normal snapchat is sent to certain individuals whereas a story is seen by everyone on your friend's list.
The Map: The map is a map of the world, you have a setting on Snapchat that allows you to be seen by everyone, your friends, or you can turn your visibility on the maps off. The map allows you to see the location of people who you’ve added and have given you access to see them, people can also see you if you allow them to. The map allows people to see specific locations right down to the street you’re on and where on the street you are.
Hotspots: On the maps, you can see ‘hotspots’ which are stories people have posted to their location, these can be seen around the world.
Discover section: This is where you see your friends’ stories but also where you can see celebrity stories, there’s also news articles and stories. The celebrity and news stories you see are not age restricted, there’s often sexually explicit and contain adult language.
Quick Adds: Snapchat has a section that allows friends of friends to see your snapchat to add you. You can turn off being able to be seen on quick adds.
The main things to ensure they're safe are:
1. Make sure they only add people they know, and they only accept their friends or people they know.
2. Don't allow them to be visible on quick adds. Quick adds is a feature where friends of friends have the ability to see you in a section called ‘quick adds’ and add you without you giving them your snapchat name.
3. Turn their ghost mode on or moderate their visibility on snap-maps.
4. Be aware that they will be able to read anything on the discover page as it isn't age moderated. This includes news stories and celebrities snapchat stories which often can include explicit or adult content.
5. Make sure that their story is only visible to people they know and not 'everyone'.
6. Make sure they understand the importance of not sending explicit photos of themselves to anyone and reporting to an adult if someone sends one to them.