Snapchat has become a favourite app of every creative content creator, a massively popular social media app. The app is increasingly used by children and teenagers today as it allows these millennials to instantly connect with the entire world right from their mobile phones. This fun and frolic app offers a unique way for this young community to interact and connect. However, the app can pose serious identity and safety threat for teenagers and children alike, needing a monitoring and parental control on Snapchat that can safeguard children from any harm.
Although this entertainment app is filled with unique ways for people to communicate with one another, several threats are associated with its usage. Research indicates that in 2017, Snapchat became one of the most concerning apps in the US for teenagers ages 14 to 17. The main appeal of this app was its disappearing content. When users send a picture or video to their friends, it would only display to them for a few seconds and then completely disappear. But with the introduction of several updates, it has been made possible for the users to save the pictures/videos and share them in the online community.
This means the foundation of Snapchat, where people could only view other people’s content for a few minutes, is no more a reality. Therefore, parents need to set up parental control on Snapchat to ensure their child’s safety and protect them from cyber-attacks.
To protect your child’s privacy, it is essential to track their device to keep a tab on their online activities. By activating the Snapchats parental control service, you can ensure that your kid’s activity is safe. Let us investigate Snapchat and how you can set up parents’ control on Snapchat.
- What is Snapchat, and How is it Different from Other Social Networking Applications?
- Why parents need to keep an eye on their kid’s Snapchat activity
- Minimum Age Limit to Sign-up for Snapchat
- How to Enable Snapchat Parental Control
- Snapchat “Family Centre”
- Privacy settings
What is Snapchat, and How is it Different from Other Social Networking Applications?
Snapchat is a social networking application that provides an entertaining method to communicate with friends and family. It’s a photo and video sharing platform with a twist: whatever content you upload online – known as ‘Snaps’ – will vanish within one to ten seconds of being posted.
To participate, all the youngster needs is a phone or gadget with a camera to submit customised Snaps. They can, however, transmit chat messages without using a webcam. This unique sending of photos/videos has made Snapchat highly popular worldwide. Different celebrities and co-stars have joined this platform to boost their followers and show minimal glimpses of their life to their fans.
Some of the exclusive features offered by Snapchat include:
- Snap: A photo or video shot or sent on the app is a snap.
- Snap Story: A story is created by connecting many snaps back-to-back. Accounts are exposed to the public for 24 hours before disappearing. (However, you can now store these stories in the “Memories” private storage section.)
- Snap Code: A Snapchat Snapcode is a scannable code that may be used to add friends to a profile quickly.
- Snapstreak: This word refers to a period in which two persons have snapped at each other daily.
- Geo-filter: You can use a filter to adorn pictures and share your location, just like filters (popular at significant, public events).
- Snap Map: You can use this function to share your location and have a peek around.
The growing popularity of Snapchat has made it the fourth-largest market in the UK, with over 21 million users. Moreover, the demographic bases of Snapchat specifically cater to the requirements of the younger audience, as over 59% of users in the UK are under 24. This data reflects the impacts Snapchat is having on the behaviour of the younger audience in the UK.
Snapchat makes it simple for users to cyberbully or post explicit content. Because there are no permanent records, it isn’t easy to verify anything that may occur. This is a nightmare for any parent who wishes to monitor what their children read or watch.
Fortunately, several parental control tools can still monitor what your children are watching on Snapchat. There’s no reason to be concerned if you’re not tech-savvy. We’ll go through how the apps function and how you can keep track of and limit your kid’s Snapchat usage.
Why parents need to keep an eye on their kid’s Snapchat activity
The idea behind Snapchat is that of a secure and reliable media sharing and socializing platform where the receiver can only see the sender’s pictures or videos once and can not download, save or store them. However, as with everything else in technology, Snapchat can be abused.
Users with ill intentions have found ways around Snapchat’s security features. It can be said with confidence that Snapchat today isn’t the same safe platform it was once built to be. Teenagers and young people are especially vulnerable to this because they are not as mature as adults.
Parents need to be especially careful about how their young ones are using the platform, and whether someone is trying to abuse its features or take advantage of their lack of knowledge and experience.
This is true for all social media. Any platform, app or website used for socializing has its standards of ethics and code of conduct. However, abusers can still get away with their bad intentions because the digital world is vast, and despite trying, the social media platforms can’t cover every loophole without a process of trial and error that takes a long time.
Hence, it is a safer option for the parents to be aware of what their children are doing on social platforms. Owing to this, Snapchat is set to introduce its new set of parental control features known as the Snapchat “Family Centre”.
Minimum Age Limit to Sign-up for Snapchat
A child should be at least 13 years old to sign up for Snapchat. The Appstore has rated Snapchat age 12+ while Google Play rated it age 13+. The website of Snapchat indicated that the user of the application must be at least 13 years. But the problem with Snapchat and other social media platforms is that there is no way to verify the user’s age. Therefore, parents should set up parental control over their kid’s devices.
How to Enable Snapchat Parental Control
Snapchat has built-in parental controls that allow your child to decide who may view what they share on the app and who can contact them. Your youngster can also report any gross stuff they observe on the app from other users. You may monitor their online and social media activities using third-party software, such as SecureTeen, andSnapchat’ss built-in parental control options.
Let us look at Snapchat’s built-in parental control features and how to enable them to keep your kids safe on the app in the sections below:
First and foremost, only your child’s pals should be able to contact them on Snapchat. To use this setting, go to your child’s profile page, touch on the gear icon, select Contact me, and choose My Friends from the other options.
Similarly, in the Who Can section, hit View My Story and select My Pals to make your child’s Snapchat snaps visible to their friends.
Snapchat has a built-in feature that suggests your child to other Snapchat users as a buddy. The app will also recommend that your child subscribes to several channels. As a result, you should be able to disable this function on your child’s Snapchat account.
To make the modifications, go to your child’s profile page, tap the gear icon, tap See Me in Quick Add, and then uncheck that option. If you uncheck that box, your child’s profile will not be offered as a suggestion to other app users. Their profile page will likely remain private.
You can also disable the app’s ability to display your child’s current location to their peers. It’s critical to prevent others from viewing your child’s place since no one should know where your youngster is at any given time. You never know who is watching your child’s whereabouts.
To prevent others from seeing your child’s location, go to their profile page, touch the gear symbol again, tap on See My Location, and check the Ghost Mode box.
You can even use your child’s cell phone number to prevent people from finding or discovering their Snapchat profile. People who have your child’s phone number can usually add them to the Snapchat app using their phone number.
To prevent others from finding your child’s Snapchat profile using their phone number, go to their Snapchat profile page, press on the gear icon, tap on Mobile Number, and then uncheck the option Let others find me using my phone number. Even if they know your child’s phone number, no one can add them to Snapchat.
Your child can also report any offensive or inappropriate content that your child sees on Snapchat. They can write it on the app if their friends have posted the wrong stuff with their child.
To do so, tap and hold the Snapchat post you’d like to report. The flag icon will then show on your screen. Tap on it, and you’ll be presented with choices for writing that specific post.
Lastly, everyone should control the information they provide on the internet and its use. If your child no longer wants to use Snapchat, they can easily cancel their account.
The Snapchat staff will deactivate the account for 30 days after being erased, just if your youngster changes their mind. Go to the Snapchat accounts interface and key in your child’s username and password to remove the account. Your child’s history will be erased after 30 days.
Apart from changing these settings on the device of your child, you can also educate your child about the following things:
Show Them How to Report and Block Users and Content
It’s critical to teach your adolescent how to block strangers. First, instruct them not to accept friend requests from persons they do not know. Your youngster can ban someone from harassing them or sending them unwelcoming messages by tapping on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the profile. From the menu, children can block and report the user from there.
Similarly, if a snap contains offensive information, your youngster can report it in the Discover section. To access this option, they must click on the three dots in the upper-right corner while viewing the snap.
Snapchat “Family Centre”
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel teased a new set of features under development by Snapchat, set to launch soon. According to him, the features will give parents better visibility into how teens are using the platform.
As per early reports, the family centre will allow parents to see things such as who their teen is friends with on the platform and who they have chatted with, for the previous few days. The parents will potentially be able to help their children report any abuse or harassment on the platform.
The feature will not work as spy software, rather it will invite the children to accept the family centre request from their parents. This means there will be ground rules set between them as to how the features will be used by both parties.
This has been done to keep a balance between the privacy of users and the control their parents have on their platform activity.
However, keep in mind that these features are still in development. The final product may be different from what we are being told currently. New features may be added, or the existing ones may be stripped away as the company sees fit.
Snapchat, just like other social platforms gives its users various options to secure their privacy and make them feel safer on the app. Some of the settings include:
Who can contact me:this feature allows you to set who can contact you on the platform. You can set it to either “My Friends” or “Everyone”.
Who can use my cameo selfie:every user on Snapchat can leverage the feature to create their cameo selfie. A digital version of their photo that can be featured in different contexts during conversations with friends. You can set the cameo selfie usage to either “Only Me”, “My Friends” or “Everyone”.
Who can view my story:you can control who can view your stories. It can be “Custom” meaning only your selected list of contacts will be ever to see, or “Friends Only” to let only your friends see your story, or “Everyone” if you prefer it to be seen by the public on Snapchat.
Who can see my location:the “Snap Map” is another feature of the platform that lets your friends see your location. You can choose to turn it off by toggling the “Ghost Mode” ON. Additionally, you can customize who can see your location if you’re not in the Ghost Mode. The options include: “My Friends”, “My Friends, Except…” and “Only These Friends…” to decide which among your contact list will be able to see your location.
Who can see me in quick add:You can decide if you want the platform to feature you in quick add. Turning it on will let other users see your account as a new connection suggested in their feeds or contact list.
Permissions:like every other platform, Snapchat lets you decide the permissions you want to turn on for the app. From Camera to Storage, you can choose which features you’ll allow and which ones you won’t.
Remove, block and report ‘friends’:within Snapchat, you can decide to remove, block or report friends who are acting weird or making you uncomfortable. It is not a lengthy or tiring process, but rather an easy one. All you need to do is click on the avatar of the user you want to block. Go all the way down until you see the option “Block User” and toggle it ON. You can simply remove them or report them from the same list if you see fit.
Block inappropriate users:if an unknown person tries to add you on Snapchat and you’re not okay with it, you can easily block them by pressing the options feature.
Report unsuitable content:if you see a snap unsuitable for yourself or your children, you can choose to report it. Tapping the options setting on any snap will let you press the “Report” button to report the content. You can then choose from the menu a reason that compelled you to report this specific piece of content.
How to unsubscribe from content on “Discover”
Subscribed to a show or a channel you don’t want to hear from, anymore? Simply long press their avatar until a menu pops up, or tap the three dots on the top right end of the discover tab. You will see an “unsubscribe” option in the menu which can be pressed to not see their content again.
How to hide content on “Discover”
Similar steps can be followed to hide content from the discover tab. All you need to do is long press a piece of content you want to hide. It will pop open a menu you can scroll until you see the “Hide” option listed. Tap the option and you’re done.
Use Parental Control Apps from Third-Party
If you want more control over your child’s Snapchat usage, you can utilise a third-party parental control tool. The big app shops provide a plethora of parental control apps. You can use most of them to ban specific apps, monitor screen usage, and check which apps your child uses.
However, monitoring Snapchat behaviour is more complicated, as few parental control tools can effectively monitor Snapchat activity. Few tried and tested parental control apps to monitor the behaviour of your child include:
The Bark is an app for keeping track of your pets! Instead, the name refers to the fact that it will ‘bark’ loudly to draw your attention if your children are in danger. Bark was one of the most cost-effective alternatives, costing only $10 per month. On Android phones, it supports most of the leading social media sites, including Snapchat.
The bark is on guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will alert you to any potentially dangerous activities. It detects and notifies harassment, bullying, mature photos, and videos using artificial intelligence. This spares you from reading through all of your child’s conversations with their pals. You won’t have to intrude too much on their privacy to secure them!
Snapchat filtering by Qustodio is outstanding. But it also does a lot more, including content filtering, GPS tracking, and even time limits on other social media platforms. You can start with the free plan (which is fine, but you won’t have access to all capabilities), but if you want to ban or filter Snapchat from your child’s phone, we highly recommend one of its paid options (starting at $4.98/month).
mSpy is one of the most effective surveillance tools available. It does, however, necessitate a rooted or jailbroken phone. This stage can be tricky for those who aren’t tech-savvy, so I recommend following some guidelines.
mSpy contains a keylogger in addition to monitoring messages and media. It keeps track of everything your child types. This may be a bit much for some parents. Other parents may see this as a means to gain direct access to the children’s Snapchat accounts and take action.
Famisafe is a parental control tool that has won numerous awards. Some of the most well-known parenting organisations recommend it. Famisafe is, without a doubt, the best app for keeping tabs on your child’s internet activities. It’s reasonably priced and comes with a variety of functions. You can track your child’s position using geolocation and geofencing. You can also block websites and entire apps to prevent your child from clicking on a potentially harmful link on Snapchat. It’s also possible to detect the explicit language in chats and mature photographs and films they download.
TruthSpy comes with several different trackers and spying capabilities. A Snapchat Spy is one of them. You may check a record of your children’s communications and see any photographs or videos they save using our Snapchat Spy.
You can discreetly install this app on any android phone and hide it after installation. The app won’t appear in your child’s app list, so they won’t be able to delete it without knowing it’s even there.
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How can I help keep my teen safe on Snapchat?
There are several options you can choose from. You can talk and discuss with them to make them understand you’re concerned for their safety and how you can navigate the issue together. You can monitor their actions via the Snapchat “Family Centre”. Or you can choose to use a third party safety app.
I’m concerned my teen is being bullied on Snapchat.
If you’re concerned about the well-being of your teen on Snapchat, you can take several steps for their safety.
You can either report the account they are being bullied by, or you can resort to blocking the said account. You can partially block them by adjusting the privacy settings. If the bullying is being done in a group, you can simply leave the group chat to protect your teen.
How can I monitor what my teen is watching on Discover?
The discover page can show your teen a myriad of content pieces and not all of them will be suitable for them. If you find a particular content piece to be concerning, or a creator is consistently producing and publishing potentially unwanted content, you can tap the three dots in the discover tab and open “Subscriptions” from the drop-down menu. Here, you can unsubscribe from, hide, or report the unwanted account as you see fit.
How do I make sure my teen’s Snapchat account is secure?
The foremost thing is to discuss the issue with your teen. Make them understand how abusers can harm them and what things they need to be aware of. There’s nothing better than open communication even if sometimes it doesn’t appear to be the best option. You can then check their account, and use various security features and apps discussed in the blog to make sure they are in the safe territory on Snapchat.
Is my teen’s privacy at risk being on Snapchat?
Though Snapchat tries to make its platform safe for teens and young people. Abusers often find loopholes and cracks in the security of the platform and exploit them. For instance, the so-called disappearing property of snaps is not that literal anymore. We all know that snaps can still be downloaded and saved using a myriad of ways. The key here is to follow the maxim: “Better safe than sorry”.