Snapchat is becoming increasingly popular with each and every filter and effect being added to the app. Like most social media apps however, Snapchat has been raising red flags with parents everywhere. Basically, the app allows you to send pictures to other people using various filters and other edits. Many parents are wondering how safe the app actually is? Or wonder who is using the app with their children? As parents we want to know any possible way to keep our kids safe.
With all the new and improved updates coming to the popular social media app, Snapchat could be sharing way more information about your child then you would like. Below I will discuss what Snapchat is and ways you as a parent will be able to make sure your child is using the app safely.
What Is Snapchat?
Snapchat was initially a mobile app that allowed users to share photos and videos with one another. What makes Snapchat different however is, after a short amount of time the photo or video that is sent will automatically disappear. You can even choose how long the recipient can view your “Snap”, from 1 to 10 seconds. You’re also able to post pictures and videos to your daily story. Which will display your media for 24 hours. Now, however, the app has grown tremendously.
The app has grown so much in fact that some of the features from the latest update have many parents concerned. Features such as quick add, snap map, and just like any other social media platform, inappropriate content. The app links directly to your mobile number, and although it may not be sending you any text messages, your child’s Snapchat account can reveal crucial data from their device.
Snapchat Parental Controls To Use
Snapchat has built-in parental control features that give parents a say over who can contact their child via Snapchat. So if you are a parent and your child is an active user of the app, I would highly recommend you explore these options and use them to their full potential.
Change Who Can Contact Profile
By default, the app will allow you to be contacted by anyone with an active Snapchat account. To change this, you will need to open the profile page by clicking the icon in the top left of the screen. You will see a gear icon appear in the top right of the screen, tap on that icon. Scroll down until you see the category called WHO CAN… You will want to change Contact Me and View My Story to “my friends” in order to limit who can contact the account.
Disable Quick Add
Quick add is a feature that will display your profile on other Snapchat user accounts as people they might know or accounts the app thinks you should follow. If you disable this feature, you will not be displayed on other users’ accounts. To add your account, the person will need to know your username in order to add you as a friend. Similar to the instructions above, you will need to open the profile page by clicking the icon in the top left of the screen. You will see a gear icon appear in the top right, tap on it. Scroll down until you see the category called WHO CAN… At the bottom of that section, you will see a tab labeled See Me in the Quick Add section. Select that, and make sure it is disabled. You can tell it is disabled if the selection is not highlighted.
Enable Ghost Mode
If you swipe down when opening the Snapchat app, the snap map will appear. Here you can see the current location of all your friends on the app. If Ghost Mode is enabled, no one will be able to see your location from their snap map. We do not want unknown users to be able to find your child’s current location. If you see a person holding a sign with the Snapchat logo when you open the snap map, this means that ghost mode is already enabled. If it is not enabled, tap on the gear icon in the top right of the screen. This will bring you to a screen listed as Settings, and the first thing you should see on the page is Ghost Mode. Click on Ghost Mode, and a pop-up should appear, asking you how long you will want to enable it. Select until turned off to keep this feature enabled indefinitely.
Report and Block an Account
If you notice an account on your child’s app that you do not want them talking to, you can block and report the account. To do this, all you need to do is locate the profile and hold down on the person’s username. You should then notice under the persons name it says View Friendship, click there. It will bring you to a new screen now, and you will see three grey dots on the top right of the screen. Select those three dots, and a new screen should appear at the top in red. Here you will see the Block, Report, and Remove Friend options.
Why Use These Parental Controls?
If you are a parent, I would highly recommend using all of these parental controls on your child’s Snapchat account. It will help protect your children from the millions of users on the Snapchat app, and it will make sure the device is not revealing any excessive information. We do not want anyone to find out our child’s location using social media apps like Snapchat. And the only way to do that is to make use of the parental controls available to us.
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