Parents Should Know: Is Snapchat Safe For Teens?

Parents Should Know: Is Snapchat Safe For Teens?

by Ankita Sharma — 2 weeks ago in Security 5 min. read
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Snapchat is the third most plausible platform for teenagers, with only TikTok and YouTube being more plausible. Forty-three percent of teens report using Snapchat “almost incessantly” or more than once a day. It is not always the case, though, that users are secure online because of Snapchat’s “disappearing” feature, nevertheless, is Snapchat safe for teens the belief held by many parents and children?

Before choosing whether Snapchat is appropriate for their children. Parents should be conscious of the safety risks and other reasons. Even though Snapchat provides teens with a respectable level of protection through the Snapchat Family Center.

Is Snapchat Safe? What Parents Need To Know

Teens and young adults specifically like Snapchat because it permits them to connect with their friends in a real and immediate way. Users can share ‘snaps’ publicly through stories or send them directly to friends and group chats.

Snapchat has a wide range of filters, lenses, and other ‘snap effects,’ making it a fun and creative outlet.

Here are the most common Snapchat facts and terminology that parents should understand.

  • Snapchat age rating: Ethically to Snapchat’s preconditions of service, you must be 13 years old to use the app. However, Common Sense Media and other sources propound that Snapchat is appropriate for users aged 16 and older. When registering, users are required to enter their birthdates in order to authenticate their age.
  • Snap Map: Users have the fluctuation to share and see each other’s locations using Snapchat’s Snap Map feature. Ghost Mode permits users to hide their locations, preventing them from unintentionally declaring where they are to others.
  • Face lenses and filters: Snapchat’s face lenses precisely change a user’s face into another object, like a puppy or flower, using augmented reality technology. Users can apply overlays, or filters, to photos to alter the appearance of a face.
  • Snapstreaks: A snapstreak begins when two users exchange snaps for a number of days in a row. The number next to the fire emoji next to a user’s name indicates how long the snap streak lasted in days.
  • Stories: Users upload these 24-hour-long images and videos to their story feeds. Stories feeds can be configured to show content to friends only, the general public, or a specific audience.
  • Spotlights: Spotlights are brief videos, akin to those found in Reels or on TikTok. By selecting the tab in the Snapchat menu at the bottom that resembles a play button, you can get to Spotlights.
  • Snapcode: Snapcodes are unique images that, like QR codes, can be scanned within Snapchat to unlock specific features. To make it simple for others to “quick add” them as friends, for instance, each user receives their own snapcode that they can share.
  • My Eyes Only: Snapshots, memories, and photos from the camera roll can be sent to this password-protected, encrypted vault.

Since it opened as a messaging app where users could send evanescing photos and videos. Snapchat’s features have evolved. However, a lot of parents and teenagers are ignorant of the achievable risks corresponding with using it.

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What Are the Safety and Privacy Risks of Using Snapchat?

Just knowing your child’s name or username is sufficient for someone to discover and add them on Snapchat. Many children might unintentionally add strangers to their friend lists, disclosing their personal information, images, and videos to strangers or even online predators. This raises privacy and safety concerns.

A large portion of Snapchat’s content is easily accessible to most users and is unfiltered. It’s possible for your children to unintentionally come across objectionable content or even seek it out on purpose.

The features of Snapchat normalize sharing locations in real-time, but they also make it easier for predators, stalkers, and other bad actors to find your kids. Unknown users who are not on your child’s friend list may be able to view snaps and stories, increasing the likelihood that malicious people will target your child.

The fundamental idea behind snaps is that once they are viewed, they vanish. Nevertheless, evanescing messages can give teenagers a professed sense of security. Which might encourage them to send private information that they shouldn’t have.

What You Can Snapchat Safer for TeensDo To Make

You can create a safe expansion on Snapchat for your children to transfer with their friends if you operate it safely. Here are some strategies for lowering the risks to your safety and privacy on Snapchat.

1. Use Snapchat With Your Kids

You should always try an app out for yourself to get the best understanding of the risks involved. You can better guide your children about safe usage by using Snapchat to gain a better understanding of the kinds of content and people they will be exposed to.

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2. Make Sure Your Children State Their True Ages When Signing Up

To ensure that your kids use their true ages when creating Snapchat accounts, sit down with them and set them up together. For users under 17, Snapchat has built-in settings that automatically limit contact with strangers and adults not on their friend lists.

Your kids won’t be able to change their birth year (to make themselves 18 or older) once their Snapchat accounts are created. This prevents your child from opening a new account without your knowledge and locks in Snapchat’s built-in security measures.

3. Ensure That Location Sharing is Turned Off

When turned on, location sharing on Snapchat updates instantly each time a user opens the app. You can zoom in to see street names, highway numbers, and even the names of particular buildings and landmarks on the incredibly detailed Snap Map. This can present a serious risk of harassment, stalking, and other safety issues related to location tracking.

How to turn off location sharing:

  • In Snapchat: After selecting Privacy Controls by swiping down, go to Settings and tap See My Location. Check to see if the Ghost Mode toggle is on.
  • Apple: Select Settings and then Snapchat by swiping down. Choose Never by clicking on Location.
  • Android: Navigate to the Location page after selecting Settings. To modify the permission, tap App location permissions, choose Snapchat, and then tap again.
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4. Limit What Content They Can Access

While keeping an eye on your kids’ friend lists can help shield them from objectionable material, it’s not a foolproof method. Even though public Stories and Spotlights may adhere to Snapchat’s Community Guidelines, your child may still be able to view them and the content may not be suitable for their age.

You can limit your child’s exposure to delicate or suggestive content in Stories and Spotlights by registering for Snapchat Family Center.

Go into Settings and select Privacy Controls by scrolling down. Toggle on Restrict Sensitive Content after selecting Family Center.

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Conclusion

When your child uses Snapchat and other social media apps. There is a chance they could encounter inappropriate content or interactions if you don’t take precautions.
Even though it is an improved opinion to have a discussion with your child about internet safety. You can’t each time be there. You can monitor how your children use the internet, and inflict time limits on Snapchat and other apps.

FAQs

Is using Snapchat safe for teenagers?

Snapchat can be safe for teens if privacy settings are used precisely along with parents keep an eye on their kid’s activities.

What measures I can take for my teen's safety on Snapchat?

Assist and encourage your child to avoid sharing any personal data, to use strong privacy setting, regularly update their password and only to connect with people they know.

Are there any risk associated with Snapchat?

Risks include loss/leak of personal information, cyberbullying, exposure to sensitive content etc. The disappearing messages can give a false sense of security about shared content.

How to monitor my teen’s activity on Snapchat?

Parental controls on devices and third-party apps can help you to oversee your child's online activity as direct monitoring is quite difficult due to snapchat's design.

What steps to be taken if a teen encounters sensitive content on Snapchat?

Encourage them to report and block the sender immediately. Have an open dialogue about their experience and reinforce the importance of online safety measures.

Ankita Sharma

Ankita is the Senior SEO Analyst as well as Content Marketing enthusiast at The Next Tech. She uses her experience to guide the team and follow best practices in marketing and advertising space. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Science (Mathematics). She’s taken quite a few online certificate courses in digital marketing and pursuing more.

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