Every parent should be aware of the dangers of Snapchat, especially the ones who have a tween or teenager. This is because there are some dangers to utilizing this popular social media app. Even though the app lets users’ messages disappear, there are some dangers of allowing your kids to share anything they want on this platform.
Like an application, you need to know how this app works so you are familiar with the risks and dangers of Snapchat to its users. At the same time, you can put a limit to what your kid shares and how much time they spend on this platform. This way, you can ensure their experience in utilizing the app remains positive.
Here is everything you need to know about Snapchat as a parent of a teen who is using the app:
What is Snapchat?
Let’s get down to it — what is Snapchat? Snapchat is a social media app enabling users to send pictures, videos, and direct messages to millions of other users around the world. It is an app that is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Because of the way it is built, Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms around.
As a user, you can add another person when you import them from your phone’s contact list. You can also add another user via their username or a Snap (QR) code. Once you’re on the platform, you can already start sending and receiving a “snap” from other users. This snap is automatically deleted once you have opened it.
In addition to snaps, Snapchat has a story feature where users can post a photo or video other users may view within the next 24 hours. You can then add filters to the photos and videos shared to make things look interesting.
When Snapchat first rolled out, it was focused to be a private, person-to-person photo-sharing app. But over the years, it has adapted to change and has become a tool to share your content with your followers. In a nutshell, it creates instant communication directly from your cell phone.
5 Dangers of Snapchat for Kids
Teenagers nowadays love to frequent social media apps where their friends are also at. But because some Snapchat problems have not been resolved by the developer of the app, parents must recognize these risks.
Even though there are plenty of teenagers utilizing the app, there are some predators who find a way to get into the app and send malicious content. In addition, some teens send mature content to their other friends too.
This is why it is important to know the Snapchat dangers you and your child should be careful of. Here are some of the problems Snapchat users have experienced in the app:
Due to its nature of having disappearing messages, Snapchat was labeled as the “sexting app” when it was first released. This is because people sent intimate photos through the app knowing these photos would self-destruct after being seen by the recipient. But because many have found a loophole in the app, they can save the content sent to them and share these on other social media sites.
Privacy and Safety
Another problem of Snapchat users is anyone can send them a message on the app. There’s also the option of adding random people to the platform. If the settings are not carefully customized, private content could be shared with people a user barely knows.
Along with being able to share mature content, Snapchat has a ‘Discover’ section where small snippets can be browsed through. The problem with this is there are some stories and articles inappropriate for most of the users on Snapchat. And since there is no way to turn off this feature, your child may be exposed to adult content.
Another reason why it’s necessary to keep an eye out for Snapchat videos is they can be a platform for cyberbullies. The content your child shares may be downloaded by their bullies and edited before it gets re-shared online. It could then embarrass them in real life to the point they feel singled out and excluded.
And finally, there is always the risk for predators on the social media app. These users often pretend to be young so they can try to connect with your teenager. They will then try to exploit your teen to gain sensitive information or content from them as a way of extortion. This is why it is always best to keep an eye out for such users on the app.
6 Snapchat Safety Tips To Follow
As a parent, you must talk to your child about the dangers of utilizing social media apps. In particular, discuss Snapchat and the dangers involved in the app. At the same time, you also need to gain access to Snapchat parental controls so you can keep an eye out on what your child shares and who they are talking with.
- Manage “Who Can” Settings
With each Snapchat account is included the setting, “Who Can”. Each user has the ability to control “Who Can” contact them, view their stories, see their location, and more on Snapchat.
- Protect passwords
Set up two-factor authentication so your child doesn’t share this with other people.
- Utilize A Snapchat Monitoring Software
Thankfully, there are tools parents can utilize to help monitor social media activity on their child’s device. One cell phone monitoring app you should consider installing on your child’s device is Highster Mobile. This app takes snapshots of activities occurring when the device is being used. As a result, you don’t miss any “snap” your child sends out.
- Ghost Mode
One popular feature on Snapchat is Snap Map. This feature allows other users to see one’s current location. This can be dangerous especially if scammers, hackers, and predators are following your child on Snapchat. To protect their location, enable Ghost Mode which hides their current location.
- Approve Your Child’s Snapchat Contacts
To ensure your child is only communicating with people they know, oversee and approve every person they connect with. Approved people could include neighbors, friends, family, and classmates.
- Limit Their Snapchat Use
To avoid your child from becoming addicted to Snapchat, limit their use of it. Many cell phones have a built-in feature that can limit specific app use for a certain set of hours/minutes per day. You can also utilize third-party parental control apps to do so as well.
Of course, the best way to protect your child is by communicating with them. Let them know the dangers and why they should not share personal information. This is the best way you can teach your child to be careful about what they share online.