Is Snapchat safe for kids? It could be

Parenting tips - Is Snapchat safe for kids?

Make sure you follow these steps to make Snapchat safe for your kid (or at least, much safer).

Is Snapchat safe for kids? Just like any other social network, Snapchat contains a lot of good AND bad. It usually depends on who’s using it, and more importantly, how.

Many parents are not familiar with the safety and privacy setting available to their child on Snapchat. With a few clicks, anyone can determine who can see their stories, locations, comment on their content or contact them via private messages. There’s no one straight forward ‘Snapchat child mode’, but parents can learn a few tricks that make a difference:

Let’s get started – Find the privacy settings

First, reaching the privacy settings.
After you launch the app, click on the little user icon on the top-right corner on the screen, and then, on the cogwheel icon on the top-right corner. This will take you to the app’s settings page, where you can control 4 major privacy setting, all under the ‘WHO CAN…” heading:

Snapchay safety settings

Who can contact your child?

This setting shows who can contact your child with calls, messages and Snaps – photos that disappear after a short time. We recommend picking the ‘My Friend’ Setting here, making sure only your child’s friend can initiate any sort of contact. Of course, you will have to talk with your child about the way she or he chooses who qualifies as a friend. We’ll get to the basics of that talk later.

Who can view your child’s stories?

Who can watch the stories – photos and videos – your child publishes under their profile. Once again, we recommend going with ‘Friends only’ for this setting. The custom option allows you to pick specific friends to block from watching stories.

Who can see your child on ‘Quick add’

When this setting is turned on, people who have common Snapchat friends with your child can find them and add them to their own follow or friends list with a click. No reason to keep this option on. We recommend unchecking the box for this one.

Who can see your child’s location?

This setting determines who can see your child’s location and allows friends to request the child’s location. Also has a checkbox for ‘Ghost Mode’, that hides the user’s location when they’re online. We recommend turning ‘Ghost mode’ on and unchecking the ‘Request location’ option.

Extra privacy on Snapchat

Dangerous apps for kids

There are many apps out there who might not be safe for children, even with the strictest privacy setting turned on.

Regardless of the type of apps you allow your child to use, it’s always wise to have a short talk about online privacy and safety. Some of the parents who installed Jiminy already talked to their child about the issue of online privacy. Our data scientists and child experts have an idea about the approach that works best when approaching kids about this subject.

Talking to children about online privacy

According to our data, this approach works best:
Tell your child that although many people online are honest and well-intentioned, there are also many who are not. Your child should be aware that what they post or publish online might reach people who could use that content inappropriately. For example – to send it to other people without your child’s consent, or even awareness. Tell your child it’s possible to avoid that.
First, make sure he or she knows about basic online safety, most importantly – to never post personal identifying information, such as an address or a phone number, where it can be seen by strangers. There are many ways in which this type of information can be used inappropriately. A good rule of thumb is – don’t publicly post anything you wouldn’t tell a stranger.
Second – be suspicious. If anyone your child encounters online appears suspicious or unreliable, they should trust their gut feeling and avoid that person.

Android Child Protection

Privacy settings can help, but they can’t detect dangers, and won’t alert parents when something goes wrong.
For that, you’ll need an Android child protection app, like Jiminy.
Jiminy is a parental monitoring app that helps parents by letting them know if anything suspicious appears on their child’s phone. Our app sends regular updates about both the good and the bad, and helps parents be more aware of their child’s phone use habits. You try it right now, to see if it works for your family.

Read more about monitoring popular apps for kids:
How can parents monitor Instagram?
4 Ways to Recognize Dangerous Apps for Kids

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