Parental Tips

5 Snapchat Dangers Parents Should Know

If you have a teen or a smartphone, you’ve probably heard about Snapchat—an app that has taken the digital world by storm. With its disappearing messages and fun filters, it has become incredibly popular, especially among teens and tweens. 

Snapchat, or “Snap”, is a multimedia messaging app that allows users to send photos, videos, and text messages that disappear after a short period of time. And while Snapchat can be a fun way to express oneself and stay connected with friends, it’s essential to understand the potential risks it poses to children’s safety online.

What every parent should know about snapchat to help decide if it's the right platform for your tween or teen.

5 Snapchat Dangers all Parents Should Know

  1. Disappearing Messages: Snapchat’s feature of disappearing messages can make it easier for predators to groom and exploit children without leaving a trace. The fact that messages, photos, and videos disappear after a short period of time can encourage risky behavior – and make it harder for parents or authorities to detect and intervene in cases of abuse.
  2. Sexting: Snapchat has been associated with an increase in sexting among young people. According to a study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, 22% of teens surveyed reported sending nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves via Snapchat.
  3. Strangers: The app’s “Quick Add” feature, which suggests friends of friends, can expose children to strangers. There have been reports of predators using this feature to add and communicate with minors.
  4. Geolocation: Snapchat’s Snap Map feature can reveal a user’s precise location to friends or even strangers if the user has not set the appropriate privacy settings. This can put children at risk of physical harm, stalking, or cyberbullying.
  5. Inappropriate Content: Snapchat has been known to feature explicit content, and users can easily access inappropriate content through Snap Map or by following certain accounts. This can expose children to harmful or explicit material.

Most kids use Snapchat to goof around and stay in contact with their friends, but like any app, it can be misused and exploited. By maintaining open communication, teaching responsible online behavior, and implementing appropriate safety measures – like Snapchat’s privacy settings and parent monitoring apps – we can protect kids from dangerous online activities. 

Navigating the digital world can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. That’s why we partnered with the Safe Surfin’ Foundation to release a free E-Book, C.R.A.M.: A Parent’s Study Guide to Managing Kids & Technology.

With C.R.A.M., you’ll learn practical tips to keep your kids safe online, how to talk to kids about predators by age group, how to recognize the signs of grooming, what to do if a predator contacts your child, and you’ll get device settings and safety tips for popular online games. Download your free copy today!