Parental Control: 6 Things Parents Should Know About Snapchat

Let’s put it down how it is – kids are highly vulnerable to inappropriate content and practices on the internet. As a parent, you have to take charge and put efforts into being informed of the consequences your kids (and you too) might have to face in case things go awry. We know how pumped up your kids are to use social media applications like Snapchat. Why wouldn’t they be? It’s a free photo and video sharing app and most importantly, their friends are on it too! But you need to stay focused, parents. Don’t let things get out of hand! To help you out, here are six things that you should know about Snapchat before your kids start using it.


6 Things Parents Should Know About Snapchat


Now that you know how Snapchat came into being, let’s discuss what all parents should know about the social media application before they or their kids hop on and begin using it. Here are the 10 things you want to consider before making your decision.


1.   Easy-to-use social media app


Most social media applications are designed to make them easy-to-use. You have examples of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as well. These days, social media application designers try designing the applications in a way a user gets maximum entertainment without them having to put any significant effort. This is what makes the application highly addictive. Coming back to Snapchat, this easy-to-use social media application helps friends stay in touch with each other and share pictures/videos on the go. However, the application can be used in ways that you might deem inappropriate.


2.   ‘Snaps’ can still be screen-shot


Snapchat has a dedicated term for the messages users send over it. ‘Snaps’ is what it calls them. But, just because the app termed your messages as ‘Snaps’ doesn’t mean they go away once send. Well, the idea of snaps is that users can send messages/photos/videos that disappear in just a few seconds once received and opened. Seems totally harmless, doesn’t it? But, the pictures being shared can be saved after taking screenshots of them. This can easily lead to cyberbullying and harassment online. For parents, it is a problem because they hardly have any control of what their kids come across on the application.


3.   ‘Terms of Use’ allows for parental control


We highly recommend parents to read the ‘Terms of Use’ Snapchat has made available on the application itself. Not just that, we would advise all parents to discuss the guidelines with their kids as well. According to the ToU, the user accessing the social media application should be at least 13 years of age. What if the child is under the age of 18? Well, Snapchat advises them to have parental permission first before downloading and using the app. Another crucial thing we want you to take note of is the permission you give Snapchat servers to access your information. When you agree to the ToU, Snapchat can access your phone book and address book and upload it on its servers. There goes your personal information!


4.   Snapchat can ‘use’ your content


So you think only you and the people you interact with have control of the messages you send? Read the Terms of Use again. Snapchat has clearly mentioned that it has a –


“nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such user content in connection with the services, subject to your use of privacy settings in the services to control who can see your user content.”


In other words, the content you share on the platform is going public. Snapchat will have full authority over the content and can use it as they may. Of course, you too have control over how the content is used. But, you’d need to know how to work your way through the application’s privacy settings.


5.   User has complete responsibility


What happens on your account is your responsibility. The moment you create your Snapchat account, you have to take care of the content you share and the content you consume. The activities occurring while you are logged in will be your responsibility. If you or your kid happen to share something that is illegal or does not comply with Snapchat’s Terms of Use, there can be consequences. Frankly speaking, Snapchat is very much used by people that are into ‘sexting’. If the user’s explicit pictures get leaked (see point #2), there’s absolutely nothing Snapchat can do about it.


6.   Don’t confuse Snapchat for anonymity


You are not anonymous on Snapchat. Even if you send messages that disappear once sent. So, you better bust that myth now. Generally speaking, the moment you connect your device with the internet, you lose your anonymity. Whatever you do on your device, the servers associate the activities with the device’s owner. How they do that? They do that with the help of unique identifiers that can be your device’s IP address, fingerprint, the transaction you make when you bought the device, and more. Everything you do on Snapchat, or on your phone in general, is pointing back to you.


How can you put Parental Controls over Snapchat?


Feeling anxious, parents? C’mon, you know how the internet world is. It lacks accountability among various other things that are seriously wrong with it. But, it’s a great tool as well. Snapchat is a fun social media application and you can ensure that for your kids by putting parental controls on their device. Here’s what you need to do –


  • Open Snapchat and head to ‘Settings’.
  • Set ‘Two-Factor Authentication’ to make your kid’s Snapchat account more secure.
  • Go to ‘Notifications’ and set your priorities. You can enable or disable the notifications with the toggle.
  • Head back to ‘Settings’ and now under ‘Who can…’ tap on every setting and choose what other people can do to your kids on Snapchat. You will have to set preferences for who can contact them, send notifications, view their stories, check location, and more.
  • When it comes to blocking certain accounts on your kid’s Snapchat, you can do that in two different ways. First, you can block the person from chat history, or second, you can block the person from your friend list.
  • Lastly, you can report certain accounts or content you think is illegal or inappropriate on the application.


Need Help With Parental Control?


We know how tough it can be for parents. Social media applications like Snapchat are quickly taking over the world and it can be difficult for you to track everything your kids do online. But, there’s nothing to worry about. We can certainly help you be on top of their online activities and ensure their online safety. All you need is useful information and tools that make parental control seamless and effective. Want to know how you can make the internet safe for your kids? Connect with us today!

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