• Eskdale Academy

Snapchat Safety Worries

This is a safety information message to all parents and carers. Snapchat have introduced a new feature called ‘Snapmaps’

Even though there are social media age laws, we are aware know a lot of our children use this app (13 is the legal age limit).

Snapchat has just released its new Snap Map feature that can share your location with Snapchat friends via a map. Your location isn't public (though anyone who knows your location could share it with others). It becomes dangerous if people are added on snapchat who your children don’t really know.

According to latest update, Snapchat introduced latest feature which shows publicly posted images on a searchable map which has raised safety concerns among parents. Snap Map allows people to search for places such as schools and see videos and pictures posted by children inside.

It also allows people to locate their "friends" on a map which will tell them where they live. However, the company stressed that the location sharing was an opt-in feature.

Snap Chat launched its Map feature on Wednesday and promoted as a "new way to explore the world" . according to this feature, Video clips and photos that have been posted publicly can be searched on the map, and who have share their location can be seen by their friends only. Members can also add people they have never met to their friends list too.

Point to be noted that, the location-sharing feature lets people "locate exactly where you are, which building you are in and exact whereabouts within the building". Which is concerning parents about the safety of their kids.

People have expressed concern about how the app could be easily used for stalking or working out exactly where somebody lives.

"This new Snapchat map directly tells you exact addresses on zooming which can’t be considered safe for everyone and can cause some serious damage to its users.

CAUTION: Once you opt-in, whatever audience you're sharing with can see your location updated, every time you open the Snapchat app, regardless of whether you send them or anyone else a Snap.

To opt-out or limit who can see your location

  • Go to the Snapchat camera and squeeze your fingers together, as if you're zooming out

  • That brings up a map. If you don't see the map settings press the settings icon (a little gear in the upper right corner.

  • Check Ghost Mode to completely opt-out of sharing your location

Some precautions

  • Parents should talk with their children about the safe use of this feature, which can include leaving it off (Ghost Mode) or carefully limiting which of their friends can see their location and reviewing that periodically.

  • Be aware that anyone with access to your phone and the app can change your settings. If you have any reason to be concerned about someone doing this, do not let them access your phone. Phones should always be protected with PINs, fingerprint recognition or other tools to prevent unauthorized access

  • Because Snapchat can reveal your current location every time you open the app, consider switching to Ghost Mode if you plan to use the app from any location that you don't want to disclose