As one of the most popular social media platforms, Snapchat is a go-to app for many teenagers and younger users (kids). But is this popular messaging app safe? Here’s what parents need to know about Snapchat and how to keep their kids safe while using the app.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat app is a photo sharing and video messaging app allowing users to send messages and share photos as disappearing messages which are visible only for a certain period. It’s become increasingly popular with kids and teens as a way to share quick, casual photos and videos with friends using different fun features such the snapchat filters. Because Snapchat messages disappear after they’re viewed, some kids see it as a more private way to communicate than other popular social media apps / messaging apps like Facebook or Instagram.
However, Snapchat is not as private as it may seem. When Snapchat users take screenshots of snaps, it saves them to the snapchat’s servers before they disappear. And although Snapchat messages disappear after being viewed, they can be retrieved through third-party apps like SnapSaved.com.
Snapchat also has a number of other features that parents should be aware of, including Snap Map and filters. That Map allows location sharing so that users can see the location of their Snapchat friends on a map, which could put kids at risk of being targeted by predators. And Snapchat filters can track a user’s location and share it with others.
Is Snapchat safe for kids?
While Snapchat can be a fun and safe way for kids to communicate with friends, there are cases that violate Snapchat’s community guidelines and parents should be aware of. Because messages disappear after being viewed, snapchatting and false sense of security can encourage kids to send risky or inappropriate content/sexually suggestive content that they wouldn’t normally share on other social media platforms which could lead to potentially devastating consequences.
Additionally, the app’s Map and filters features could put kids at risk of being targeted by predators or sharing their location with strangers.
What are some tips for using Snapchat safely?
To help keep your kids safe while using their snapchat accounts, it’s important to have a conversation with them about responsible snapchatting. Here are some tips:
- Encourage them not to add random people to their friends list like every other social media site and to only snapchat friends they know in real life.
- Tell them not to share personal information, like their address or phone number, with anyone on snapchat. Based on Snapchat’s terms of service, by the way, company access any personal information it wishes, such as your email address, age, or other data the kid chooses to provide.
- Warn them not to meet up with snapchat friends they don’t know in person.
- Help them understand that once a snap is sent, can be recorded by other users, it can’t be unsent or deleted, so they should think carefully before sending anything.
- Tell them not to take screenshots of snaps and not to save snaps from other people without their permission.
- Help them understand that filters can share their location with others and turn off on snapchat settings the app’s filters feature if they’re not using it.
- You can also set up parental controls on your child’s phone and child’s account to help them use snapchat safely. For example, you can turn off the app’s Map feature or limit who they can snapchat with.
- Monitor your child’s activity and snapchat contacts: Keep tabs on who your child is snapchatting with and what they’re sharing. If you see anything that makes you concerned, talk to your child about it.
- You may restrict who sees your child’s material, sends messages, and adds them as a friend using the gear icon next to their profile.
- Turn on ghost mode: This feature allows you to snapchat without sharing your location with anyone.
- Snapchat has also a feature where you can see the most recent snap your kids have viewed which is useful to document inappropriate content and report.
Snapchat is a popular social media platform/social media app among kids, but it’s important for parents to be aware of the risks. By having a conversation with your kids about responsible snapchatting and setting up parental controls, you can help keep them safe while using the app.
How old do you have to be to get Snapchat??
Kids ages 13 years or older can create a Snapchat account. If you’re under 18, your parents will need to provide their approval. For more information, check out Snapchat’s Terms of Service. Also according to common sense media the recommendation age for the app is 16+.
If you’re concerned about your child using snapchat, you can set up parental controls on their phone to help them use the app safely
Snapchat features and dangers for kids
- Messages either image messages or text messages, can be saved with a screenshot before they disappear
- Snap Map allows users to see the location of their fellow snapchat user on a map, which could put kids at risk of being targeted by predators.
- Filters can track a user’s location and share it with others.
- Because messages disappear after being viewed, snapchatting can encourage kids to send risky or inappropriate sexual content that they wouldn’t normally share on other social media platforms.
- The app’s Map and filters features could put kids at risk of being targeted by predators or sharing their location with strangers.
Why was Snapchat actually created?
Snapchat was originally created as a way to send disappearing photos and videos between friends. The app’s developers wanted to create a safe and fun way for people to communicate without worrying about their messages being saved or shared. Snapchat has since evolved to include a variety of features, like filters and Snap Maps, but its original purpose remains the same.
Is there anything bad about Snapchat?
There are some risks associated with snapchatting. The possibility of predators targeting kids or kids sharing their location with strangers. However, these risks can be minimized by having a conversation with your kids. Letting them know about responsible snapchatting and setting up parental controls on their phone.
Snapchat is a popular social media platform among kids, but it’s important for parents to be aware of the risks. By having a conversation with your kids about responsible snapchatting and setting up parental controls, you can help keep them safe while using the app.
Media reports about social sharing app snapchat also suggest that the app is frequently used for sexting, which could put kids at risk of being targeted by predators or sharing intimate images with strangers.
Is any other social media platform safer than Snapchat?
No social media platform is 100% safe, but there are some safe messaging apps for kids that may be better suited for kids than others. If you’re concerned about your child’s safety on Snapchat, you might want to consider other messaging apps like WhatsApp or Signal, which offer more privacy and security features.