What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family. It’s a photo and video sharing site with a difference: any content you share online – known as ‘Snaps’ – will disappear between 1 and 10 seconds after they’re posted. All a child needs to participate is a phone or device with a camera to send personal Snaps. However, they can send chat messages without a camera.
Is Snapchat safe for kids?
With over 400 million Snaps being sent worldwide every day, Snapchat’s popularity is not in question. But like most social media platforms, it can present a few dangers to younger users, whether of age or under the Snapchat age limit.
The best way to safeguard your child when they use their social media account is to adjust the privacy settings and put some restrictions in place. This will mean they will only be visible to, and able to share content with approved contacts. And, they won’t be exposed to sexual content or be preyed upon by strangers.
Snapchat safety concerns
Snapchat’s selling point is the sharing of videos and photos to the user’s followers, known as Friends. Parents will need to be cautious about the type of content their child is posting and who can see what they post. Although Snaps are wiped quickly after being posted, every viewer can screen record a Snapchat post or story while it’s playing and then post it directly back on Snapchat or other social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp.
Also, your child can receive private messages or inappropriate content from strangers who might be pretending to be someone they’re not. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk with your child about Snapchat safety, how to use the app and to let you know if they experience anything upsetting, whatever it may be.
Setting up Snapchat parental controls
Given the aforementioned concerns, it’s important to limit your child’s visibility when they’re using the app. Why not implement some of these Snapchat safety features by doing the following:
Remove, block and report ‘friends’
Occasionally, people can post content that is harmful, mean or upsetting to your child. Whether intentional or not, it can upset your child and put them off using social media. If this happens, have a chat with them and empower them to take control of what they see and who they communicate with on the app in the following ways:
The importance of parental controls on social media
The most important thing to do when thinking about privacy on social media apps is beginning a collaborative dialogue with your child. Try to understand exactly how the platform is used; decide with your child what’s unsuitable content and what’s okay; make sure they understand the consequences of inappropriate content and cyberbullying; and, most importantly of all, be there for them if they are experiencing any problems online.
Check out our catalogue of articles about parental controls on social media.
How we can help
Did you know that you can set up parental controls on smartphones, games, tablets, laptops and smart TVs too? It’s worth doing so that your child can’t do things such as, make in-app purchases in games or watch inappropriate content. It’s quick and easy to limit your child’s access on different devices. Read more on setting up and managing parental controls.