Many people are suspicious of Snapchat. You send a picture, and it disappears forever just seconds later. This is part of what makes Snapchat exciting of course, but if you’re a parent of a young teen, this can leave you scratching your head, wondering if Snapchat is safe for your
The answer is not so clear-cut, but here are three tips to help you make Snapchat a safe place for your kid.
What Is Snapchat and How Does It Work?
According to the terms of service, users must be 13 years old to utilize this service. To create an account, you need to provide your birthday, but there is no age verification, so anyone under 13 could sign up.
Are you familiar with their friend group? Snapchat allows you to see who your friends are and who you send messages to regularly. If you look into your kid’s Snapchat feed and see a lot of familiar faces. Then all is well. But if you see names and faces that don’t remind you of the ones you know your kid sees in the real world, take note, and use the next tip.
Does your family have rules around technology at home?
Many parents have a system with their kids. It sounds something like this
“Hey, you know that iPhone you wanted? We’ll let you have it, but here are the rules. At 9:00 every night, you leave it on the kitchen table and that’s that until morning. Deal? “
This parenting style is not only effective in keeping your kid safe on social media sites like Snapchat, but it also shows you as a fair and considerate parent in the eyes of your children.
While this isn’t a way to stop your child from using the app, there are some precautions you can take as a parent.
Tip #4 Customize The Snapchat Settings
Here are a few more tips to make sure that your kids Snapchat profiles are safe:
- Modify privacy settings: Review your privacy settings to determine who has access to send you Snaps, watch your Stories, and see your location on Snap Map.
- Keep it among friends: Snapchat was created to help users stay connected with their closest friends. It is recommended that you only let your child friend or accept friend requests from people they (and you!) know in real life. This creates a better experience for you and your kids, preventing strangers from sending inappropriate content or contacting them in an uncomfortable way.
- Limit screen time: Parents should set a limit on how much their children can use the app.
- Delete account: If you feel your child is not ready for the app, you can always delete the account out of their device.
- Customize the Map Location: You can set up your or your child’s Snap Map to display an exact location or a custom location. If you choose the latter, make sure it is somewhere where you and your child won’t mind people knowing you’re at.
- Think before you share: Just like with any social media platform, you should be careful about what you (or your children) post. People to whom you send Snaps can still screenshot or take a photo of the Snap using another device. Once you send a Snap to one person, it can be shared with others, so be vigilant about what you share.
Although there are some safety concerns when using social media platforms, Snapchat can be a fun way to connect with friends and family. As long as you stay vigilant and attentive, your child should have no problem staying safe on the platform.
The best way to know if Snapchat is safe for kids, as with any social media app or website, is to understand what your child does on it and how they use it. Remember that you are the best judge of what your children should or shouldn’t do.