What is Snap Map?
Snap Map is a new update from clandestine social sharing app ‘Snapchat’ – the idea of Snap Map is to help people share what they’re doing with their friends and for friends to be able to see what’s going on around them. Check out the intro video from Snapchat to see how it’s used in the ‘ideal world’.
I’ve seen a lot of concerns from people that this new feature is pretty invasive and dangerous to young people that are using the social media. After all the term ‘stalk your friends’ already makes it sound pretty nefarious! The obvious nightmare that comes to the minds of most parents is that unsafe characters could easily stalk your child and do them harm by knowing exactly where they are and what they’re doing.
Done right, some of the features of Snap Map could be really awesome to help build community and share stories and keep up-to date with your friends, but there are very real concerns that parents might have about it.
Young people often feel pressure to add people as friends that are beyond their immediate ‘social circles’ and this might include people that they don’t get on so well such as bullies and real fears have been raised about ‘Cyber-stalking’ becoming ‘real-stalking’, too.
Firstly, it’s important to note that while Snapchat does automatically update, its snap map feature is ‘opt-in’ meaning that you have to activate the location-based social sharing features before it can start using them – so don’t worry about it turning itself on and broadcasting the location of your kid. If it has been turned on, however — it’s possible to turn it off. You should check your youngling’s phone to ensure their security settings are correct.
Launch Snapchat, on the ‘take a picture’ screen, pinch inwards with both fingers, this will bring up the ‘map’ screen.
Click on the ‘cog’ icon in the top-right hand of the map-screen and it will bring up the ‘location’ settings, here you’ll be able to set it to your preferred sharing settings. Set it to (ghost) mode to ensure that your location isn’t being shared. Or, if you want to make use of the feature, set it to ‘friends’.
Some General Tips
As a modern parent or user, the last thing that you want to do is slap a blanket ban down on using social media – burying your head in the sand and hoping that social media will go away isn’t really going to help anyone. Almost all social media has built-in features to preserve your privacy and security. We’re going to run through a few tips here on how you can control the Snap Map and ensure a safe and secure social media environment.
Keep It Impersonal
It’s important that you let your children know what information they can and can’t share online. A general rule of thumb is that they shouldn’t be sharing any personal information about themselves with people on the internet that they don’t know.
You should make sure that your kids follow these principles when using any form of social media (this includes online games like Roblox)
- Don’t share your Surname.
- Don’t share details of your physical location (address, town, street etc.)
- Don’t share your age.
- Don’t share what school you go to.
- Don’t share any of your personal contact information.
I like to make sure that my younglings repeat this checklist before they go online in any form.
Keep It Personal
Contrary to the first point, when dealing with social media, we need to make sure that our kids are keeping safe and not letting random people get access to their personal information. Often, sites like Facebook have a lot of personal information on it and kids might think that it’s harmless to add people that they don’t really know, but here are some best practices.
- Don’t add people that you don’t know
- Make sure that you are added as a friend on your kids social media accounts so that you can see what they post
- Try to keep only ‘real friends’ in your social networks, this will prevent the accidental spread of information.
- Make sure that you activate ‘parental’ safety settings if they have them (most under-13 apps do)
- For younger kids, make sure that you have control of their passwords 😀
Security on the web is a hot topic, so make sure that you’re equipped to deal with it. Don’t be scared of technology, get into it and figure out how it works and what its settings are!
Failing that, you can always drop us a message with your questions and we’ll be happy to help answer them or put them into a future blog-post!