Snapchat and its new Snap Maps feature Snapchat phone 1

For those who may not be familiar, Snapchat is an increasingly popular Social Media Application designed to send and receive disposable images and videos amongst its users; there is also the ability to send and receive text messages through Snapchat.

For many, Snapchat poses no danger, however safety can be compromised if a user has added “online friends”; friends in which they have come into contact with through the Internet, such as online gaming or Internet forums.

The new implementation of Snap Maps allows the people on a users Snapchat list to see that users location, by default. If children have "online friends" on Snapchat, safety can be compromised, as people are able to see what the child looks like, who their friends are, and where they spend most of their free time.

Opt out of Snap Maps

It is essential to note that you are able to opt out of Snap Maps, in fact The NSPCC advised young people do just that, in an attempt to prevent online vulnerability amongst children.

Below you can follow the short how-to guide, which has been released by BBC Newsround:

  • When in photo taking mode, pinch the screen to open your Snap Maps
  • Tap the settings cog in the right-hand corner of the screen
  • Turn ‘Ghost Mode’ on to switch off location sharing

Please note, any photos or videos that get posted to the public ‘Our Story’ will be discoverable on the map, even if you are in Ghost Mode.

To help keep your child safe when using Snapchat, talk regularly with them and make sure that they know how to protect their privacy.

Further Information

For more information on how to stay safe on Snapchat the NSPCC Net Aware and Share Aware campaign have some useful pointers. Click here to find out more.

We would also advise visiting the Safer Internet website, which has guides and useful information regarding safety on a range of Social Media Apps. 

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