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What do parents need to know about Snapchat?

What do parents need to know about Snapchat?

Once again the police warn parents to check their kids Snapchat app. Last month, they caught an online predator who sent a photo of his genitals to a 14-year-old girl. With the popularity of Snapchat app, a sense of alarm among parents increases.

Why Snapchat is so popular among teens? They use it to post the so-called snaps, which disappear after 10 seconds. So kids are sure that anything they send via Snapchat won’t ever be used against them. What kids forget is that any user can make a screenshot of the image and share it over the internet.

Snapchat parental monitoring: why it is needed?

Snapchat is one of the most popular apps among young generation. 77,7 % of kids aged 12-17 use Snapchat app. Unfortunately, not all parents understand what outcomes this early adoption of adult`s app may have.  Here is a list of 5 things every parent should know about Snapchat.

  1. False security sense

All pictures and videos shared on Snapchat disappear after a certain period of time. That`s why, many teens have false security sense that everything posted online is temporary. But they forget that it is possible to take a screenshot or a photo.

  1. Sexting

15 % of teens from 12-15 say they got a sext from someone they know on Snapchat.

Snapchat is a perfect platform for sexting (sharing sexually explicit content). As we have already mentioned, all photos can be shared with others through a screenshot method. Sending naked photos in order to impress a bf, nobody can guarantee 100 % safety. These photos can simply circulate the Net, causing very embarrassing situations. Snapchat teen sexting is one of the main dangers nowadays. What`s more, in the USA and UK parents of sexters can be put behind the bars for sharing and storing child pornography.

  1. Cyberbullying

80% of teens think that is much easier to bully others on the app like Snapchat.

Due to the fact that everything is temporary on Snapchat, it is a perfect place for bullies. Having no digital footprint left behind, a lot of bullies feel more comfortable sending hateful messages and insulting other teens. Due to the self-destructing feature, it is hard to intervene in bullying cases and capture harassing images. That’s why for parents it is almost impossible to see what child is doing and sharing on Snapchat.

  1. Lack of moderation

The Snapchat doesn`t have a possibility to differentiate users by their age. Adding new people to their friend list they can add people much older than they are. For parents this moment is crucial. It can be difficult to find out whom your child is talking to. At best, your kids can talk to people much older than they are and at worst they can talk to online predators.

  1. Predators

The other danger is online predators. Snapchat app is filled with online predators who try to lure unsuspecting kids into their trap. Some of them pretend to be teens, some even don`t share their real age. But all predators have the same purpose – to exploit kids for their own benefits.

The FBI alerts parents that sexual predators use Snapchat app to gain photos from kids. They can use these photos for personal use or to sell them to other predators.

How can parents monitor / block Snapchat and other apps?

Social media apps contain a lot of hazardous things for kids, like inappropriate content, violence, ads. What`s more, they are perfect platforms for cyberbullying, online deception, sexting or communication with online predators. Kid`s safety is of highest importance for every parent.

Here are 3 basic rules every parent should follow to reduce their concerns

Rule 1. Do a research

Before allowing your child to create a Snapchat or other social media account do a research (Facebook or Instagram). Get to know the age limits, how these apps work, and how they effect wellbeing of your child.

Rule 2. Educate

This app is hazardous for kids, as it is impossible for parents to catch shared “snaps”. Have a conversation with your child. Ask what attracts them on Snapchat. Explain your concerns and possible outcomes of using this app. Propose your child to sit together and check how they use this app. During the parental monitoring Snapchat, you can notice inappropriate content (e.g. sexually explicit photo). In this case it is high time to raise a red flag and prohibit this app for your child.

Rule 3. Block

With the help of Kidgy, it is easy to view installed apps and block hazardous app like Snapchat.

Encourage your child to use educational apps instead. Educational apps are the best option for those who want to keep their kids learning outside the classroom and having fun at the same time.

Here is a list of educational apps for your child that are more useful for your child

  1. ClassDojo

This app has virtual classroom style. Within this app teacher can communicate with students for their educational needs, at the same time, kids can get as much attention as they need to improve their studying. The purpose of this app not to replace ordinary classroom, but to help students get better education.

  1. Cram.com Flashcards

It is a studying app, which allows to create flashcards on any subject. This app contains a wide range of flashcards for your teen to study, memorize or test themselves.

  1. DragonBox

This app contains a set of educational games to help your kids to learn basic fundamentals of math. There are five learning apps in one. Some of them deal with algebra and geometry.

  1. Kodable

With this app your child can learn Javascript. This app enforces development of programming skills. Kodable introduces basic programming concepts like looping and branching.

  1. Alchemy- Genetics

Open the door of science to your children. This app will induct them to genetics, gens and inherited traits. With the help of this app they will know what may happen if they combine different animal traits to create new breeds and species.

Cyber world is full of dangers for kids. As a parent, you can protect your kids from cyberbullying, sexting and online predators by simply viewing and blocking the apps that promote harmful behavior. Have a conversation with your child and teach them how to use Snapchat wisely.

 

 

This entry was posted in: Tips for parents

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