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  • How to stay safe while using Snap Map

    Snapchat’s newest feature has left many parents feeling concerned and helpless about the safety of their children.

    mobile device showing location-based feature enabled

    Snap Map allows users to see the exact location of their friends in real time, anywhere on the globe. Should this feature be enabled, Snapchat collects your location, speed of travel, phone usage, and more to discover where you are and what you're doing. If users do not turn on “Ghost Mode,” all this information is available for your friends to see. By pinching the Snapchat home screen you can activate or deactivate the map and gain access to your selected friends' exact locations [1]. Snapchat primarily appeals to users under the age of eighteen, making this feature very concerning for some parents.

    This is not the first time Snapchat has opened the door to dangerous situations with its location features. Following the launch of Snapchat's signature geofilters, celebrities and users with a large following found themselves in a difficult position when sharing their location, especially on stories. The only known solution to the problem is for users to be mindful of their following and the information they choose to share.

    As for Snap Map, what can you do to protect yourself and those around you? Luckily you won't need to disable your account in order to hide your location on the map. When you first access the map, be sure to restrict friends' access to your location information, either by activating Ghost Mode or selecting the friends you would like to allow access to. In addition, it is important for all users to only add friends that they know and trust. Unlike most social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, which have implemented barriers between users, Snapchat's privacy settings are minimal and the app primarily encourages users to send and receive messages directly. The only definitive solution to this safety concern is to be mindful of the information you post and who you allow to see it.

     

    [1] Find your friends on the Snap Map, Snapchat



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