Snapchat, selfies and mobile safety

Snapchat, selfies and mobile safety

According to BI Intelligence, in November 2013, over 400 million photographs were uploaded by users to SnapChat every day. That makes it the most popular social media platform for photographs.

The world of SnapChat, the selfie and social media may seem alien to parents, most only know the basics even though they have read the horror stories, but what do you need to know as a concerned parent?

Many have moved off more ‘popular’ platforms

While children under 13 years old are prohibited from using SnapChat under its terms, the site does not ask for your age. Parents should be aware that one of the reasons some have moved from Facebook or Twitter over to SnapChat is because these platforms allow you to send ‘self-destructing’ images to others without the worry of anybody else seeing it.

As this is the case, SnapChat has become the most popular platform for ‘sexting’ (sex-texting). This is the act of one person sending explicit, sexual text, images or both to a contact.

Why it’s important not to panic as a parent

In order to send a message to another person they have to be part of a friends list. However, anybody who knows your username and phone number can send you a message, that is unless you configure the platform to accept messages from those you know only.

What should I do as a concerned parent?

Many find speaking with their child about using all social media platforms correctly is enough to stop potential issues. Parents should ensure they point out that SnapChat offers a ‘false sense of security’ when it comes to privacy and that images can be screenshot or even photographed.

It is worth noting that if you monitor your child’s Smartphone-use with external software, it will not pick up the images that are sent to SnapChat. Furthermore, asking your child to stop using social media will more than likely be counterproductive. In most cases the best results tend to come when you sit your child down and talk to them like an adult.
For more information for parents visit Connectsafely.