Thinking about getting Snapchat or want to know more about the popular app? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons…
Snapchat is widely popular and gives users over 13 a way to keep in touch with friends. Like most other social apps, it’s also packed with cool filters and effects to make your pictures and videos pop so it’s a great way to get creative. However, there are a few potential dangers to be aware of to keep yourself safe online:
MYTH: All Snapchat messages delete themselves, so you don’t have to worry about your images or messages being shared without your permission.
FACT: This is incorrect. While you can set a time-limit on your snaps to delete after a certain time, you cannot control whether or not someone screenshots your image. Snapchat will tell you if someone has screenshotted your image, but it can’t tell if they take a photo using another phone. This means that your snap could easily be shared by someone without your knowledge.
SOLUTION: Always think twice before hitting the send button on anything you post online. Read our guide to get more help on staying safe online.
MYTH: You have to take part in streaks to keep using Snapchat.
FACT: While Snapstreaks is a fun aspect of Snapchat, you don’t have to take part if you don’t want to. Streaks is basically sending snaps between two users, at least once every 24 hours for three days to build up a ‘streak’. Keeping up a streak can go from being fun to a lot of pressure pretty quickly. It can become addictive and stressful, leading to anxiety and panic.
SOLUTION: If you’re finding keeping up a streak has become a chore rather than a fun activity, ask your streak friend if you can stop. Talk to an adult about how you’re feeling and make a plan to end the streak and relieve the pressure.
MYTH: It’s fine to add whoever I want on Snapchat, even if I haven’t met them in ‘real’ life.
FACT: Be careful who you befriend on social media. Make a simple rule of not accepting friend requests from people you’ve never met in real-life. You never know who could be behind the account so it’s important to be wary to protect yourself.
MYTH: Using Ghost Mode on Snap Maps will keep my location a secret.
FACT: Selecting Ghost Mode means that your Snapchat friends won’t be able to see your location on Snap Map. This can definitely help to keep you safe online as many of your Snapchat friends may not be people you actually know in day-to-day life. They may not be who they say they are and could potentially be someone who could cause you harm. To keep yourself even safer, you can turn Snap Maps off completely.
MYTH: Snapchat stories can only be seen by my Snapchat friends so they’re 100% safe.
FACT: Not quite true. Anyone can screenshot or take a photo of your story and share it so it’s important to be mindful of that before you post any content. If you want to send your story to Our Story be aware that Snapchat may then share it very publicly, which can make you feel very vulnerable. These are all things to keep in mind to make sure you are keeping yourself safe while having fun on Snapchat. If you ever run into a problem on Snapchat, such as cyberbullying or seeing images that make you feel uncomfortable, tell an adult. You can find out more about blocking and reporting people on Snapchat here: https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/i-need-help