Snapchat has become a widely used social media platform for people of nearly all ages. However, one substantially targeted age group is that of children and young adolescents.
In the contemporary era, you can find, at least, one Snapchat user in every household who spends most of their time on social media. Snapchat and Instagram are prominent applications whose popularity and usage have augmented drastically over the past few years.
People who are introverted and socially anxious find an escape on these platforms where they can deflect their fear and allow themselves to engage with online communities. Snapchat is one of those platforms that gives your kids a great place to share photos and messages with their friends. But, do you know is Snapchat safe for your kids? For example, can someone get your kids' Snapchat password, see your kids' location, hack your kids' Snapchat, and read your kids' Snapchat messages? In this article, you'll find out all the answers.
Table of Contents
Part 1: What is Snapchat?
Part 3: Is Snapchat Safe for Kids?
Part 7: Conclusion
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a trending communication app with a massive stack of users. It allows the users to send and receive videos and photos that are termed as "Snaps". These snaps dissipate quickly once they are viewed. Screenshots captured from another party will be notified and mentioned to the senders.
This social media platform is mainly popular for the effects, lenses, and filters that it offers its users to apply on their faces while the shot is taken. Snapchat is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It was launched by its co-founder Evan Spiegel from a private company called "Snap". It allows a diverse range of options like one to one live video streaming, texting, and sharing videos and pictures with your friends through a "Story".
What Are the Features of Snapchat?
Today, Snapchat is the most trending social media platform on the globe. However, it still can’t compete with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. But the rate of increasing users in Snapchat is extremely higher than any other platform.
Snapchat offers its users an array of features that are unique yet user-friendly. However, have you ever wondered that all those features are safe for children and if there are any hidden dangers for our kids? Let's see the features of Snapchat:
Snapchat has a "discovery" mode that covers three different content, including Our Stories, Publisher Stories, and Snap Originals. It allows users to directly view content made by celebrities, news and entertainment outlets, other users, and so on. However, sometimes the Discover gives mature or bizarre content that is not appropriate for children, especially if your child joined up with the incorrect birth date, so it's a good idea to take a peek around and see what your children are browsing. Moreover, it offers you a limitless capacity of storage to save your media within the app. It even allows your friends to view your live location on the world map given that you’ve enabled the feature.
Snap Map shows you where you are on a map in real-time. Your Snapchat friends are the only ones who can see where you are. Furthermore, if your friends' "location mode" is not disabled, Snap Map allows you to scroll through the globe map and spot their whereabouts.
Additionally, children can upload snaps to the Snap Map, and their names and locations may display on a public map. However, the major danger with Snap Map is that a kid's location will be visible to all of their friends, but some of their Snapchat contacts aren't true friends in the real world can also see your kid's location on Snapchat. Hence, it's advisable to turn off Snap Maps unless there's a specific event or use Snap Map in Ghost Mode.
Snaps can be used to create a "story" by themselves. It will be aired to your pals as a series of snaps that will be visible to your viewers for 24 hours before disappearing. However, because it is quite public, it would be better that children should consider it twice before uploading story.
A "snap code" is a QR code that your friends can scan to add you quickly and easily. This code can be found on the profile screen. However, due to this feature, kids may add some virtual friends to their Snapchat contact lists. And this might be dangerous for our kids.
Trophy case is a feature that rewards you with a trophy for your achievements and breakthroughs. These could be as simple as sending 50 snaps using different pen colours.
3D World Lenses:
3D world lenses are unlike the lenses that add effects to your face. By enabling the "3D world lenses", it places an augmented reality object in your real time video recording. This AR feature makes your environmental surroundings awesome and cool.
A "filter" can be added to your snap when it is captured. You can swipe right or left to add location, weather, or time.
Geofilteris a term derived from geographical location. These help you specify your location or any public event that you are present at.
Memories are the personal storage offered to Snapchat users within the app. Once the snap is clicked, you can save it to your memories which will be transferred to your snapchat cloud.
Bitmoji is a feature that you can use to create a digital emoticon that resembles you. This will help with a better flow of interaction as you can jazz up your identification.
Is Snapchat Safe for Kids?
Although, Snapchat requires your birth date when you are signing up but there is no age restriction as long as you are 13. Even for the younger kids, there is no age verification so you can register your account irrespective of your age. It is claimed that Snapchat is not threatening for teens above 16 and anyone younger can have unnecessary exposure to age-inappropriate content. Snapchat can still be unsafe for young teens who can potentially fall prey to the manipulative attempts of strangers.
Miscellaneous cases of virtual sexual favors have been reported where children who lack conscience are driven into inappropriate texting and are asked to exchange arousing pictures. Although, Snapchat allows the snap to dissipate once it's viewed but it can be captured through a screenshot and later used to threaten the sender. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat texts and snaps induces the users to often get into erotic conversations.
Furthermore, because adding friends on Snapchat is so simple, kids may add some friends that they don't even know in the real world and these virtual friends can know some private information about the kids, for example, finding their birthday date on Snapchat.
It is easier to be deceived by people's fabricated images online that can often be contrary to reality. Snapchat can be threatening for kids who operate it without the supervision of elders. Kids may communicate with strangers who can manipulate them and even elicit personal details about them. Young teens must be looked after In order to preclude any adverse consequences.
Should I Let My Kids Have Snapchat?
Though, the ultimate aim of children on Snapchat is to share and broadcast their fun experiences and their life with friends and family but they still need to be monitored and supervised until they are a certain age. It is a good platform for kids to save their memories and stay in touch with their friends. However, parents can still be oblivious to what their child is doing because of the temporary nature of the app. Texts and snaps are removed once viewed so it is recommended that teens below 16 do not obtain access to it.
Can Snapchat be Monitored by Parents?
The answer is absolutely Yes. There is a range of parental control applications that you can install to monitor your children without letting them know about it. These applications help you monitor their online activity, at all times. Using the parental control application, allows you to check all your kid's Snapchat activities, including reading Snapchat messages, viewing pictures, watching videos, and so on. Moreover, we suggest you only buy premium software for Snapchat monitoring your kid. We know free versions might sound good, but first of all, they are not safe, might sell your data to compensate for the money of your free account, and don't provide complete protection.
How Do I Make Snapchat Safe for My Kids?
It is unavoidable for kids to use social media apps as they get older. Communication between parents and children, on the other hand, is critical to children's development. If you agree with your child using Snapchat. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss with your child how to use their Snapchat account safely and responsibly. You can let your kids share their opinions about Snapchat, discuss the merits and downsides of Snapchat as well. You can also use the method below to protect your children or teach them to complete the settings on their own.
Also, you can look up a third-party app that allows you to gain access and spy over your child's account without them knowing. These applications can provide you the privilege to keep a rigorous check on the online patterns of involvement of your child. Kidsguard Pro is one such advanced app that is ideal for Snapchat monitoring your kid. It ensures to protect your child from vulnerability and becoming victim to cyber threats. You can use this app to view the pictures your child has sent and received. You can track the conversations that take place between your child and his friends. It is an ultimate parental control tool that allows you to govern the activities of your child to prevent them from being misled into wrongful ventures.
Method 1: Set the Snapchat Setting
First of all, the first thing you can do is to make sure you set privacy in your kid's Snapchat account. So that, you can prevent strangers and other dangerous people to contact your kid. However, it's not like one click and you're ready to go. There are several things that you need to enable in order to set the privacy. Below we've mentioned some most important privacy settings that you can enable in your kid's Snapchat account:
Turn off the "Show on Recommendation" Button
This feature is responsible for showing your profile to other recommended strangers, so you can get more friends on Snapchat. However, you can turn "See me in Quick Add" off in the Settings, so your kid's profile will not be displayed to any stranger.
Protect Your Kid's Phone Number
Phone number contains lots of information, you should protect your kid's phone number to prevent it from reaching to strangers. Hence, you can do is to turn off "Let others find me using my mobile number" option.
Hide Your Kid's Location
You must hide your kid's location. For that purpose, all you can do is turn on the "Ghost Mode" in the Settings, and then no one can see your kid's location and don't recommend your kid's profile to nearby strangers.
Method 2: Safeguard Your Kids with KidsGuard Pro for Android
The method mentioned above can protect kids to some extent, but as parents, we always are eager to give kids 100% protection. Moreover, in adolescence, kids are easy to rebel and hard to communicate with. For that purpose, you need a more advanced tool or service that gives full control over children's Snapchat account activity.
For your convenience, we have dug deep into the internet and brought a cutting-edge parental control software that is designed for Android devices. Its name is KidsGuard Pro for Android for you. This service is a complete all-in-one parental control app that offers you to keep track of every single activity of children’s Snapchat account remotely. It lets you monitor what kids are doing on Snapchat remotely from any device without them knowing and you can protect your kids secretly.
Why KidsGuard Pro for Android?
- Remote monitoring, so you don't need to grab your kid's phone physically to see their activities.
- Real-time message tracking will enable you to see who your kid is texting.
- In case, if something goes wrong, you can track your kid's location through the KidsGuard Pro location tracking feature.
- KidsGuard Pro also lets you see the incoming photos and videos received by your kid on Snapchat.
- What if your kid switches to another social media app? Don't worry, KidsGuard Pro has a cover, it supports WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and many other popular social media apps to monitor your kid's activities like Snapchat.
How to Keep Your Kids Safe with KidsGuard Pro for Android
KidsGuard Pro is an easy operate parental control app, you can setup and use it within 5 minutes. Let's see how it work!
Step 1. Create A KidsGuard Pro Account
Sign-up at the official website of KidsGuard Pro with a valid email, and purchase the subscription of KidsGuard Pro based on your needs.
Step 2. Install the KidsGuard Pro for Android
Following the instruction to download and install KidsGuard Pro and install KidsGuard Pro on your kid's phone.
Step 3. Start Keeping Your Kids Safe
After installation, you can login to your account and visit your monitoring dashboard through any device that supports web browsing and start monitoring the activities of your kid’s Snapchat account as well as other options as well.
If you have a child who uses Snapchat, it could be perilous for him or her unless you secure his or her account. You'll need a more advanced service, such as the KidsGuard Pro for Android parental control app, to keep your children secure. It allows you to remotely monitor all of your children's Snapchat actions in real-time without them knowing!
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By Megan Evans
A certified content marketing specialist with great passion for Internet and online safety. She is bent on educating the audience about cyber safety tips and tricks.