Parents/Carers of children who use Snapchat should be aware of the new update which defaults to allowing their Snapchat friends to see quite precisely where they are, from the last time they used Snapchat, on a world map. Obviously the implications could be quite serious and widespread, and so we would advise parents to take heed of the following news article released this afternoon on The Independent’s website which in summary states that:
* Parents/carers are advised to check that their son/daughter has set the new Snap Map feature to Ghost Mode meaning that their location is not made available to any other users.
Snapchat has just launched a new feature that lets other people find out exactly where you are at any given moment. Snap Map lets you share your real-time location, which your friends can view on an interactive map that’s precise enough to show not only which street you’re on, but where you are on that street too.
Since a large number of Snapchat’s users are teenagers, the feature has provoked strong reactions. People are worried about Snap Map’s privacy implications, and believe it could expose children to potential predators.
Once you’re on the latest version of the app, you can launch Snap Map by pinching the Snapchat camera home screen.
From here, you can choose to share your location with all of your friends, some of them, or none of them with ‘Ghost Mode’, which hides you from the map but still allows you to track your friends.
Parents are being urged to make sure their children select Ghost Mode, and not the other two options.
“Snapchat has introduced a new tracker in the update where you can view the exact location of your friends,” reads a post that’s been widely shared on Facebook. “It can give you the area, town, and street and if you zoom in enough, it shows the house on the street layout.
“Please Share this to make people are aware, Snapchat has a lot of young users on, if your children are on please check that they have their location set to Ghost mode, that way no one can see where they are.
“To do this make sure app is the updated version and go to selfie mode on the camera. Then zoom out. It will give you the option of changing to who can see your location.”
Snap Map also lets you see areas where lots of Snaps are being uploaded, usually because of an event of some sort.
It’s designed to encourage you to watch more Snapchat content but, according to TechCrunch the company says there won’t be any ads on Snap Map “for now”.
Please download a PDF with Apps for self help and other useful websites for more information.