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District Issues Warning About New Snapchat Feature

Snapchat, a popular messaging app that allows users to exchange user-generated photos, texts, videos and calls, has added a new feature that allows a user’s exact location to be visible to their friends through a feature called Snap Map. The new feature was included as part of a recent update to the app. Unlike with some other apps, which can track where a user was located when they snapped a picture or video, Snap Map allows the sharing of that information in real time. The map on which the information is displayed provides precise enough information that others can use it to not only determine which city you are in, but the exact street address. This has raised some privacy concerns, especially for younger users who may not realize why it is important not to share their exact location in real time with others.

The Hampton Township School District is aware that many of our students frequently use Snapchat on their own personal devices and wants to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible this summer. Parents are being urged to access the app’s privacy features, which allow users to turn on “Ghost Mode,” which blocks access to the user’s location and the ability of others to access the Snap Map feature. Users are automatically opted into the new feature unless they disable it. 

To access “Ghost Mode,” first make sure the Snapchat app has been updated to the most recent version. Then, access the selfie mode on the camera and zoom out. An option to change who can see your location will pop up on the screen and provide the opportunity to place the app in Ghost Mode.

Additional information about Snapchat is available here. Parents also can read reviews about the app on Common Sense Media’s website here.

For additional Internet Safety information, please see the resource page on the District website.

Posted by berg in electronic devices, media awareness, media safety, online privacy on Wednesday June, 28, 2017 at 12:47PM

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