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is snapchat safe

Is Snapchat safe for teens? As a parent of a teenager or a child, you may worry about the security of your kid’s privacy while he/she is using Snapchat. Let the following content, which is disserted by MiniTool Software Ltd, answer your question and help you solve your concern.

With the popularity of Snapchat, the security topic of Snapchat has been raised up? Is Snapchat Safe to use? Snapchat has about 300 million daily active users and it is extremely popular among users under 16 like users who are 15, 14, or 13 years old. This makes many parents worry about the privacy of their kids.

Some Controversies Related to Teenagers’ Privacy

There are some controversies involving the privacy of Snapchat users and the mental health of teenagers.

1. “Snap Map” Privacy Concerns

Snapchat has a feature that broadcasts the user’s location on a map, which was released in June 2017. It was met with concerns over privacy and safety. The feature delivers a message via an opt-in asking if the user would like to show their position on the map but reportedly doesn’t explain the ramifications of doing so, including the application updates the user’s position on the map each time the app is opened and not just when actively capturing snaps, potentially assisting stalkers.

The map can be zoomed in to feature detailed geographical info like streets and addresses, which raise safety warnings from many famous media publications for children, teenagers, and even adults who are unaware of the feature’s actual behavior.

In reply to this concern, Snapchat says that users can use the Ghost Mode of this program or select the friends that they wish to share their location. In addition, although there has been an increase in advertising on Snapchat, it won’t plan to run ads on Snap Map stories.

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2. Date Access Abuse to Spy on Users

In May 2019, it was revealed that multiple Snapchat employees used an internal tool named SnapLion, which was originally designed to gather data in compliance with law enforcement requests, to spy on users.

3. Revenge Porn

During the 2020 lockdown to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 in France, Snapchat emerged as a hub for the dissemination of revenge porn of underage girls.  In 2020, a woman in America sued Snapchat for its features enabling her alleged rapist and his friends to hide evidence of the rape.

Particularly, the suit alleges that because of the ways Snapchat is and has been designed, constructed, marked, and maintained, the rapists were able to send those nonconsensual, pornographic photos and videos of victims to no threat of law enforcement verifying that they did so.

In view of the potential privacy risk of using Snapchat, many parents are worried about their children’s privacy security. Luckily, Snapchat only permits users that are at least 13 to get and use its features.

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Is Snapchat Safe for Kids?

Users that are 13 or older are allowed to create an account for Snapchat. Yet, for those between 13 and 18 years old, they will get their parents’ permission to use Snapchat. For those under 13, they can make use of SnapKidz to take photos, draw pictures, as well as create captions. Yet, SnapKidz doesn’t allow its users to send or receive photos to or from others.

Although the age limit of Snapchat is 13 years old in its terms of services and users need to provide their birth date to create a Snapchat account, there is no age verification. That is to say, users under 13, like 12, 11, 10, and even 9 years old, can still get access to Snapchat by providing a fake date of birth. This is not good.

How Safe Is Snapchat?

This is a theme on Quora. For the answers, some people say Snapchat is safe while others claim that Snapchat isn’t safe. let’s see their arguments.

Reasons Why Snapchat Is Not Safe

A user on Quora said that many applications save the snap someone sent you without notifying the person. They save not only a screenshot but also the whole video. About reporting, once you can’t always prove who sent the content, even if the person appears in the photo.

However, for receiving content, you have in your list just the people you allow. Also, you are able to block the person if he or she keeps sending you things you don’t want to see.

Another user claims that nothing is safe when it is connected to the Internet and Snapchat isn’t an exception.

For the special feature of Snapchat (messages and pictures uploaded to Snapchat are only available for a short time before they become inaccessible to their recipients), some people are skeptical of this. They think Snapchat is actually storing those messages and photos in a big archive file in which Snapchat can use in the future. So, they warn users to not send inappropriate pictures on Snapchat like nude, drag, sexual, etc. photos.  

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Reasons Why Snapchat Is Safe

A user on Quora thinks Snapchat is private and safe. He mentioned if you are critical about the security problem of those legal apps, then, you should use nothing and even the Internet for nothing is completely safe on the Internet. Even if the program is safe, it can be attacked by viruses or malware online and make itself a medium for the virus to attack other apps.

Therefore, another user mentioned that Snapchat, as well as other forms of social media, is definitely safe with certain precautions. For teenagers and children, they should only interact with people they know under their parents’ inspection. As for adults, they can adjust their privacy settings and stay off of features like Snap Map.

Additionally, a user mentioned making use of a third-party lockers app to help you use Snapchat safely.

How to Use Snapchat Safely?

The following is a list of operations that you can adopt to help you use Snapchat more safely.

  • Adjust your privacy settings to enable Two-Factor Authentication and use the “My Eyes Only” feature.
  • Control who can see your stories.
  • Only allow friends to contact you.
  • Hide yourself from Quick Add.
  • Keep Snapchat up-to-date.
  • Don’t upload photos or send messages you really want to keep private.
  • Don’t share your username or Snapcode openly.
  • Don’t add random users.
  • Use Snapchat together with a firewall, antivirus, and other tools like app lockers.

Wrap Things Up

Is Snapchat a safe app? Generally, it is. However, if you use it without caution and add friends with any judgment, you may put yourself into a dangerous environment and let your privacy leak. All in all, whether an app is safe to use is mostly depends on yourself. 

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