No matter how many social media apps and photo-sharing apps we come across, our fondness towards Snapchat can never go away. This social media app has been quite popular among kids and teens. This app is also being used by the majority of teens as compared to adults.
What’s so special about Snapchat? Well, it’s a social media app designed for smartphones that allows users to send photos and videos (known as snaps) to other users. However, unlike with photos and videos sent through email or text messages, those sent on the Snapchat app disappear seconds after they are viewed.
Undoubtedly, teens and their obsession with Snapchat is justifiable, given the app has so much to offer. However, at the same time, it can also lure them into the dark side of the app to which most of them are not aware of. Protecting teens from that dark side is vital even if it involves getting help from Android spy software or other monitoring apps.
Misconception About Snapchat
Snapchat introduced the concept of destructible photos and videos after they were viewed by the recipient. As soon as the photo or video is opened by the recipient, it disappears within a few seconds. This feature makes users think that Snapchat is far safer and private than other social media and photo-sharing apps.
Keeping this thing in mind, most teens share unlimited photos with other users that might be silly or embarrassing without having any fear that they will find their way to social media apps where they might live forever.
This is where their thinking goes wrong. They have a misconception that whatever they share on Snapchat remains safe and private, unlike other social media apps. It is true to some extent but there are actually several ways to capture and recover images from Snapchat. Therefore, teens should not develop any false sense of security about sharing their intimate images and videos with others on the app.
What Makes Parents Concerned About Snapchat?
Teens spend a huge chunk of their time on Snapchat. This is what makes parents concerned about Snapchat. Several risks and threats exist on Snapchat that can compromise their kids’ safety.
First of all, it can be somewhat trickier to monitor their kid’s activity on Snapchat as the app does not save pictures and messages that can be viewed later. Since Snapchat self-destructs the photos and videos as soon as they are viewed, parents might not be able to see what their teens are doing on the app unless they are using some effective parental control app.
On the other hand, it’s true that the photos and messages self-destruct from the phone after a few seconds, it still does not prevent the recipient from taking the screenshot of the snap while they can still see it.
Even though Snapchat has a feature that notifies the sender as soon as someone tries to take a screenshot of their snap, still it does not prevent the recipient from capturing the snap from another phone camera.
This is how most photos are stolen from Snapchat. The recipient might use another phone camera to capture the snaps so that the sender cannot find out that their snap has been taken by someone else. Many teens have been a victim to this sort of stealing on Snapchat as most of their photos are stolen and become viral this way.
Where snaps can be easily stolen on Snapchat, it can also give rise to other online threats such as sexting. It has been found that most teens use this app for sexting. Snapchat itself has admitted that up to 25 percent of users may have sent sensitive content on a regular basis on the app experimentally.
Besides sexting, cyberbullying also exists on the app. Many teens have been reported of being bullied by other teens on the app. When they upload snaps on their account, they receive threatening, embarrassing, and insulting comments on them.
Educate Teens About the Dark Side of Snapchat
We have discussed a few threats that teens could come across while using Snapchat. Parents can allow their teens to use the app but before that, they need to have a serious discussion with them about the potential risks that exist on the app and how they can protect themselves from those dangers.
We cannot deny the fact that Snapchat can be an engaging and fun app for teens especially if they use it carefully, safely, and responsibly. However, if parents think that their teens won’t be able to keep themselves safe on the app, they can consider installing an iPhone or Android spy app on their device to monitor their Snapchat activity.
They should opt for a parental control app that lets you monitor their kid’s entire Snapchat activity including text messages and photos sent over the app. By regularly monitoring their kids on the app, parents can keep their teens safe from growing online dangers such as cyberbullying, sexting, cyberstalking, and online predating.