What's dangerous about Snapchat?

3 min
Tags: children snapchat Photo share Risk cyberbullying Parent Video

Mainly, Snapchat is used as a messenger for various messages on the smartphone. The app offers a lot of different features, mainly it's about photos or videos that are created and shared. The goal is to share these creative images with other users and show them off. Both photo filters and so-called emoticons sweeten the entire handling, and your own drawings and effects can contribute to more fun. If desired, this content can optionally be sent to a specific person. The contacts for this are also stored in the Snapchat app. Even general publication of these images is not a problem.

Particularly noteworthy is the special function of automatic deletion when content has been sent. Once a video or photo has been shared and sent, the file can only be viewed by the recipient for a certain amount of time, such as between one and ten seconds. The file is then automatically deleted on the recipient's smartphone. Thus, there seems to be no danger in sending risqué images. The person no longer thinks about the consequences. The uncomplicated sending of these messages and the enjoyment of the moment are therefore in the foreground. Those who create and send such images and content are often trying to leave and share a credible insight into their own lives. That's why Snapchat is also very popular with stars and celebrities. This allows an insight into the private life. This approach is also imitated by young people and children.

Age restriction for Snapchat

In principle, Snapchat should only be used from a minimum age of 13 years. It is important to comply with this rule. Younger children cannot yet assess the dangers and survey the risk accordingly. It is therefore important for parents to discuss all possible risks and dangers and to establish rules. The focus is on good tips for safe use.

The risk of Snapchat

A child finds it fun to create special videos or photos. Nevertheless, cyberbullying and ridicule can be the result. If these recordings are seen and also used by others, ridicule often follows. Nevertheless, the app lulls its users into a sense of security. Allegedly, the photo is deleted after a few seconds at the recipient anyway. However, this superficial security measure is easily bypassed when a screenshot or copy is created. Thus, the photo or video ends up in the memory.

It is also a concern that Snapchat is used to make contact with strangers. Therefore, it is also a problem that a stranger makes contact with children. This has to do with the background settings. These defaults can be changed quite easily. Unfortunately, a securing with a password is not possible. The situation with Snapchat's overall privacy is just as daring. Basically, a child reveals a relatively large amount of information about himself on Snapchat. Even the current location is revealed. So the child always knows where the contacts or friends are. Another risk is adult content. Children can be exposed to anything. Content that upsets or scares the child is also included.

Protecting children efficiently

Parents who allow their child to use Snapchat should take appropriate safety measures. The child should be at least 13 years old. Also, in general, parents should talk to the child about the use of these social media. The settings cannot be specified by the parents, there is no password option. It is also possible for the child to make changes themselves.

Helpful conditions include:

o   Settings must not be changed by the child

o   certain time intervals are specified

o   contact is made only with real friends from real life

o   new friends are coordinated with parents

o   Photos or videos are shared only after consultation with parents

o   the child should know very well that the photos and videos are not automatically deleted, but can be copied and shared

o   Filters with location information should not be used

o   Personal data may not be shared by the child

Nevertheless, if there is an undesired contact in the child's list at some point, they should be blocked from the contact list immediately. Blocked contacts are displayed directly. Nevertheless, there is never 100 percent security on the Internet for children, which is why social networks and messenger services such as Snapchat must always be used carefully.