Snapchat is one app that children at school have knowledge of, or are using on their tablets and devices. Although the age limit for Snapchat is 13, some Primary School children know and use the app, with or without their parents’ knowledge. This week, an update to Snapchat that shows publicly posted images on a searchable map has raised safety concerns among parents across the UK.
Snap Map can allow people to search for places and buildings, and see videos and pictures posted by children inside.
It also lets people locate their “friends” on a map that is accurate enough to determine where people live.
Snap Map was launched in June and was promoted as a “new way to explore the world”.
Snap, the company behind Snapchat, stresses that location sharing is an opt-in feature. Video clips and photos that members have posted publicly can be discovered on the map, while members who have chosen to share their location can also be seen on the map by those they have added as “friends”.
Worryingly, members can add people they have never met to their friends list too. Wayne Denner, eSafety expert, explains more about Snapchat Maps in the following info-video:
Still not sure how it works? Here are two screenshots of my Snap Map, one displaying my location (without Ghost Mode) and one with Ghost Mode enabled, showing that no one is able to see my location, only me (and, of course, all who are reading this!!)
At Abercarn we strongly urge you to consider your child’s use of this 13+ app and stress that, if your child currently uses Snapchat, you make sure Ghostmode is enabled. Simply follow the instructions here.
Alternatively, Snapchat has produced an app called Snapkidz, a version of Snapchat specifically for children under 13, which only allows users to create and save snaps locally on the device. By using Snapkidz, no Snapchat account has been created — your email address and password are stored only on your device.