When it comes to online applications, Snapchat for teens and kids has quickly become one of the most popular, particularly among teenagers and young adults.
The app, introduced in 2011, allows users to send photos and videos that disappear after a set amount of time. The app also offers features like filters and lenses, which can be used to change the appearance of images and videos.
Snapchat has grown steadily over time and has enjoyed a powerful surge in popularity in recent years. In fact, the app now has an estimated half a billion monthly active users.
Today, even the slightest change in Snapchat’s stock price can make headlines.
While Snapchat can be a fun way to stay in touch with friends, it also has some risks. That’s why parents need to know how to use Snapchat parental controls to help keep their kids safe.
This article will provide an overview of Snapchat and its features, as well as some tips on how to keep kids safe while using the app.
What is Snapchat?
If you have a child or teenage, you’ve likely heard of Snapchat. But what is it, exactly?
Simply put, Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app that allows users to send images and videos that disappear after a set amount of time.
That’s the interesting appeal of Snapchat. The images and videos you share on the app are only available for a limited time before they disappear forever.
Of course, there are ways to save Snapchat photos and videos before they disappear. But for the most part, the app is designed so that the content you share disappears after it’s been viewed.
Opinions range on why this is appealing. For some, it encourages users to be more present in the moment and less concerned about perfection.
For others, it’s a way to share content that they wouldn’t necessarily want to save forever.
Whatever the reason, the ephemeral nature of Snapchat is one of the things that has made it so popular.
How Does Snapchat Work?
Snapchat offers a few different ways to share content. The most common is to send a photo or video to a friend or group of friends.
Once you’ve taken a photo or video, you can add it to your “story,” which allows your friends (and anyone else who follows you) to view it an unlimited number of times for 24 hours.
You can also use Snapchat to send direct messages to friends. These messages work like any other messaging app and can include photos, videos, and text.
Finally, you can use Snapchat’s “lens” feature to add special effects to your photos and videos. Lenses range from simple filters (like adding sunglasses to a photo) to more interactive effects (like making it look like you’re a dog).
The Dangers of Snapchat
While Snapchat can be a fun and harmless way to stay in touch with friends, there are some dangers of Snapchat that parents should be aware of.
Because Snapchat allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after a set amount of time, it’s often used for what is known as “sexting.”
Sexting is the sharing of sexual images or videos, usually between two people who are in a romantic or sexual relationship.
While sexting can be consensual, it can also be used to pressure or coerce someone into sending sexual content. And because Snapchat photos and videos disappear after they’ve been viewed, there’s a false sense of security that the content will never be seen again.
However, it’s important to remember that nothing on the internet is truly “disappearing.” There are ways to save Snapchat photos and videos, and once something is saved, it can be circulated without your consent.
This can be especially harmful if the images or videos are of a sexual nature.
Because Snapchat is so popular with young people, it’s also become a common playground for bullies.
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, or embarrass someone. And because Snapchat allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after a set amount of time, it’s often used as a tool for cyberbullying.
3. Engagement with Strangers
Another danger of Snapchat is that it’s easy to connect with strangers. Children and teens who use Snapchat can add anyone they want to their “friends” list, even if they don’t know them in real life.
This can lead to children and teens sharing photos and videos with strangers, which can be dangerous.
These risks, among other online dangers, are why it’s so important for parents to be aware of what their children are doing on Snapchat.
4. Location Tracking
Another potential danger of Snapchat for kids is that it can be used to track your location.
Snapchat has a feature called “Snap Map” that allows you to see the location of your friends on a map.
While this can be a fun way to see where your friends are and what they’re up to, it also has some privacy concerns.
For example, Snap Map allows anyone on your friends list to see your location. This can be a safety concern, especially for children and teens.
It’s also important to note that Snapchat isn’t the only app that can be used to track your location. Many popular apps, such as Facebook and Google Maps, also have location-sharing features.
How to Use the Snapchat Parental Controls
Fortunately, Snapchat does offer some parental controls to help keep children and teens safe while using the app.
1. Restrict Contacts to “Friends Only”
The first step is to make sure that your child can only be contacted by friends – that way, strangers will not be able to reach out to them.
To do this, open the profile page and tap on the gear icon.
Then, in the “Who Can” section, tap on “Contact Me” and make sure that “My Friends” is selected.
You can also choose to have your child’s story visible only to friends by tapping on View My Story and selecting My Friends.
2. Turn Off Automatic Suggestions
One of the features of Snapchat for teens that can be concerning for parents is the ability for other users to suggest your child as a friend or for subscription channels to do the same.
Fortunately, there is a way to turn this feature off on your child’s account. To do so, simply go to the profile page and select the “gear” icon. Then select “See Me in Quick Add” and simply unselect the toggle.
This will help to ensure that your child is not being suggested as a friend or added to any subscription channels without your knowledge.
3. Activate “Ghost Mode”
Snapchat offers a location-based feature called Snap Map, which allows you to see the location of your friends on a map.
However, there is a way to turn this feature off so that your child’s location cannot be tracked. This is done by activating “Ghost Mode.”
To do so, simply open the profile settings and select “See My Location.” Select “Ghost Mode” to turn off location tracking.
4. Teach Kids How to Report Abuse
If your child is being bullied or harassed on Snapchat, it’s important to teach them how to report abuse.
To do so, they should open the profile settings and tap on “Support.” From there, they can select “Safety Center” and then “Report Abuse.”
They will then be able to fill out a form to report the abuse.
Tips for Helping Your Child Stay Safe on Snapchat
In addition to using the Snapchat parental controls, there are some other things you can do to help your child stay safe while using the app.
1. Talk to Your Child About Cyberbullying
The first step is to talk to your child about cyberbullying and its consequences.
Make sure they know that cyberbullying is not acceptable and that they can come to you if they ever experience it.
2. Monitor Your Child’s Activity
It’s also important to monitor your child’s activity on Snapchat.
Check their “Friends” list to make sure they’re only connected with people they know in real life.
You should also regularly check their “Stories” to see what they’re sharing with their friends.
3. Set Ground Rules
Finally, it’s important to set ground rules for your child’s use of Snapchat.
For example, you might want to limit the amount of time they can spend on the app or restrict who they can add to their friends list. Not only can you prevent unexpected interactions, but you can help prevent addictive behavior and internet addiction as well.
Keep Kids Safe on Snapchat with Kidslox
Snapchat’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down, which is why it’s important for parents to know how to use the Snapchat parental controls. By following the tips in this article, you can help keep your kids safe while they’re using the app.
Another great way to keep your kids safe on Snapchat is by using a parental control app like Kidslox.
Kidslox allows you to monitor your child’s activity online and prevent them from accessing inappropriate content.
You can also use the app to set ground rules for your child’s internet usage, such as limiting the amount of time they can spend online or blocking specific apps and websites.
Kidslox allows you to have complete control over your child’s internet usage, giving you peace of mind while they’re using Snapchat and other apps.
To learn more, visit Kidslox online to discover how our parental control app can help you keep your kids safe online. When you have control over what your kids can see and do online, you can relax and enjoy peace of mind.