Does your child use Snapchat?
Technically children shouldn’t be using Snapchat as it’s Terms of Service state that young people under 13 years old should not create an account.
Should I be concerned about Snapchat?
The features of Snapchat can present potential risks to young people online. These features include:
Connecting to other users they do not know
Linking to other platforms
Sharing of information and images
Limited internal moderation
The biggest concern lately is the use of Snap Maps
‘Snap Maps’ use a device’s location information to locate a user on a virtual map. A user is represented by a bitmoji- also known as an avatar- on the map at their precise location. Street names and buildings are
visible. When using Snap Maps for the first time, users are prompted by Snapchat to “Allow Snapchat to access location information”. Next the user is prompted to choose the people they would like to see their location on the map. The options include: My friends, Only me (‘Ghost Mode’), or Selected friends. Dependent on the settings chosen, a user’s precise location will be visible to their selected audience on Snapchat.
It is important that young people understand exactly who can see their location on Snap Maps. Allowing all Snapchat friends (some of whom may be strangers) to see this information can present a risk to young people, as they will be able to see their exact location in real time. Have a conversation with your child about what they do online, who they share their location with, and ways they can keep themselves safe.
Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone, which has been providing Internet Safety information and support to parents for a decade, and CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command of the National Crime Agency.
Below are links to a collections of their articles, tips, expert advice and resources designed to help parents keep up with what their children are doing on-line.