6 Things parents need to know about Snapchat

Snapchat safety

Lots of teens are using Snapchat, if your child is one of them here’s some things you need to know about the popular messaging app.

1. You can block other users

If your child is experiencing harassment, being bullied or receiving unwanted contact on Snapchat, there is an option to block users. Blocking users will prevent them from sending Snaps, viewing Chats or seeing your Stories. You can also delete users from your contact list. Deleting users will remove them from your contact list and will prevent them from sending you any messages.  For more information on blocking and deleting users on Snapchat go to: snapchat.com/a/block-friends

How to delete someone on Snapchat 

Snapchat safety

2. You can report abuse

In addition to blocking and deleting other users, Snapchat does have the option to report abuse. Users should report any inappropriate content they come across, harassment or bullying to Snapchat. There is a dedicated section on their website for reporting abuse/inappropriate content. For more information go to: snapchat.com/co/other-abuse

 Snapchat safety

3. You can save Snaps

What makes Snapchat different from other apps is messages disappear after a certain amount of time. But not everyone is aware that Snapchats can be captured and saved. While the Snapchat app doesn’t have this option there are many third party apps available which can be used to capture images on Snapchat. Users can also screenshot images on their phone, however Snapchat usually lets a user know if this has happened (this isn’t 100% reliable).

Snapchat4. You can share your location

Snapchat allows users to share their location with their friends/contacts using the Geofilters function. If a user has their location services enabled on their phone and has filters turned on within Snapchat settings, it is very easy to share your location. Users can simply share their location by swiping right on the Snap they wish to share. This option can be disabled by ensuring your phone’s locations settings aren’t enabled, you can also turn off filers in the Snapchat settings.

 

How to disable Geofilters on Snapchat 

Snapchat safety

For more information on Geofilters go to: https://support.snapchat.com/a/geofilters

5. Saving inappropriate Snaps could get you into trouble

Snapchat can also be used by teens to send intimate images. Many young users may not be aware that saving or sharing of certain images could land them in trouble. It is an offence to create, possess, or distribute explicit images of anyone under 17. This could result in serious consequences including  criminal prosecution. In cases of self-generated sexting content or ‘nude selfies’, the person him/herself can be the creator, distributor and possessor of illegal content. In these cases the Gardaí tend to take a common sense approach. In addition, under data protection law, individuals have the right not to have their personal data, including their image, collected and published without consent. Anyone who publishes private content, received via sexts, online could be seen to be violating data protection laws and could have a civil lawsuit brought against them.

6. Users can send a Snap from a friend’s story to another user


Snapchat Stories have become increasingly popular with younger users. Stories allow users to compile photos/videos for all their friends to view and publish them as a Story. Unlike normal Snaps, Snapchat Stories last for 24 hours and can be viewed more than once by anyone connected to a users’ Snapchat profile. The latest update from Snapchat now allows users to send a Snap from a friend’s story to another user (via private message). This is something users need to be careful with as it gives less control of who sees your stories. The best advice is not to share anything you would not want your Granny to see.

For more info on Snapchat safety go to: snapchat.com/safety/

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Department of Education Office for Internet Safety insafe European Union National Parents Council PDST