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Is Snapchat Safe for Kids?

Every day, mobile applications are developed and launched in different countries all over the world.

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The popular social media Snapchat, recently added a feature dubbed ‘Snapchat Memories’ which permits its users to keep on to their photos and videos for a wee longer than before.

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How Can Parents Check Children That Use Snapchat?

With teenagers’ immersion in the use of all kinds of social media applications, more concern is capable of surfacing.

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Is Snapchat Safe for Kids?

Every day, mobile applications are developed and launched in different countries all over the world. These applications designed for either business or personal usage are adequately meeting the changing needs of their global consumers.

Snapchat is an example of one of the many applications created to meet several communication needs.

It’s a messaging application designed for a mobile and is capable of sharing texts, drawings, photos and even videos.

Released in 2011 and now available for both Android and iPhone devices, Snapchat is a free to use application that has remarkably gained fast popularity.

Youths of which teenagers are at the forefront got caught in the fad of using this very trendy application.

Snapchat whose emergence coincided with a time ‘selfies’ became the trend in pictures serves as a veritable tool to easily and quickly transfer selfies.

Interestingly, photos transferred through the app self-destructs within seconds upon being delivered to the other individual.

Because of the self-destruct property, this application gives a feeling of security that is false to the numerous teenagers who use it as it makes them believe they can transfer embarrassing photos without the attendant dangerous upshots and consequences.

 How Snapchat Works And Its Concerns

Either as a group or singly, Snapchat is arguably the best application for taking selfies. Also, it’s a good app for receiving photos.

There’s an option to change the length of a photo or a video to be sent although the desired content cannot exceed one-sixth of a minute. 

When the receiver (the other person) receives the video or image called a ‘snap’, he will press and hold down the ‘snap’ – photo or video – to view it but in the event of any delay, the receiver is not able to view the snap.

Despite its uniqueness, Snapchat as a social media has a number of concerns. Its popularity has soared among teenagers who throw caution to the wind and exchange photos and videos of all sorts.

This is done with the notion that snaps cannot be saved or shared.

Meanwhile, since content cannot be saved or shared respectively, the photos cannot remain tagged up but eventually, they end up getting related with the respective individual forever on Facebook.

Likewise, a screenshot of one’s photo can be taken by one’s friend.

Although he would need nifty fingers and that one will be alerted by the facility whenever a screenshot has successfully been taken, still, it could easily and unrestrictedly be shared with others.

Privacy Settings For Snapchat

While using Snapchat, the user does have some options. It’s possible for him or her to use a setting to allow only certain friends to forward the snaps.

 This is achieved under the Settings menu where he/she can alter the preference of 'Everyone to 'My Friends' respectively.

It’s also possible for someone to block another from transferring the photo. To do this, first, he’d locate his friend’s name on the friend’s list, then click and hold the name to bring up some of the icons.

Selecting the ‘Gear’ icon thereby blocks the other from sending the photo.

How Can Parents Check Children That Use Snapchat?

With teenagers’ immersion in the use of all kinds of social media applications, more concern is capable of surfacing. Therefore in most cases, parents and guardians need to supervise and know what their children are doing for most of the time.

Listed below are a number of tips parents should be apprised of which will help them to control their wards as they use the Snapchat application.

Snapchat is an appealing and interesting avenue to remain connected to friends by sharing numerous videos and photos. Photos can be taken anywhere ranging from classrooms in schools to malls and even bathrooms.

Although Snapchat is meant for communication purposes, it can be easily ‘abused’. It thus behoves parents to discuss with their children the proper way of using the app so as to avoid issues that may arise from its misuse.

Teenagers naively are of the opinion the app is benign since texts, videos and photos disappear only in only ten seconds but screenshots can be taken from such received content meaning it can be saved somehow.

This is a principal problem for parents since they cannot control their children’s screen at any moment and children are capable of creating cyber bullying episodes and related crimes in the future using Snapchat.

It’s basic standard that apps possess both a help guide and terms of usage. Parents should take the time to read the ‘Terms of Use’ and discuss its contents with their children.

Two main eligibility terms are given for users of Snapchat are: Snapchat can only be used by persons who are at least 13 years old and, if they are not up to 18 years of age, then permission from their parents is required.

Furthermore, the user agrees to permit the app to have access to the contacts list which then permits the uploading of the information to Snapchat servers.

This implies that the user has shared his private information with friends and family sans their consent.

When a ‘snap’ is sent, the sender grants the royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide, transferable and sub-licensable license to Snapchat i.e. the app can modify, edit, use, create, reproduce and publish works in connection with the user-used services.

Meanwhile, this access is subjected to the usage of the Snapchat privacy settings of the respective person that allows him/her to give access or restrict the other for viewing the content.

Recently, ‘Snapkidz’ a modified version is available to be used by children below 13 years.

 Children can do use all Snapchat functions except receiving and sending photos on this app. The snaps get stored on the user’s device.

A mobile cellular company, Verizon offers valuable information about Snapchat to parents.

Since Snapchat can be easily used for sending sexually explicit content and nude pictures, this is essential to prevent ‘sexting’.

Given the fact that teenagers of  this generation can easily outfox their parents and are very tech savvy, it’s imperative for parents to discuss the usage of Snapchat and other social websites with their children every now and again

Parents should educate their kids about the positive and negative side of various apps and why it’s wise to follow some rules.

Teenagers should be made to know things posted online (as on Snapchat) can surface anytime as they grow older.

Finally, kids must be made to understand that even with the needed precaution, anything posted online can yet become public in a short time.

Any content posted online can get one into trouble. Snapchat and other online apps, therefore, must be used sensibly.