Snapchat and Cyber Stalking

Recently on SafePassage Adolescent Services ® blog I chatted with you about making sure your teenagers phone settings are age appropriate so they are kept safe from images, videos and other inappropriate imageries.

If you are not a Snapchat aficionado, become one today. Snapchat offers a Snap Map feature that enables a user to track other users with out their knowledge. That’s right… this electronic behavior could be construed as cyber stalking. So there are a couple of things parents need to be aware of with Snapchat.

The Milton Police Department in Georgia recommend that parents and guardians fix their children’s Snap Map feature to: Ghost Mode. This is the safest mode of operation for this feature on Snapchat.

Milton Police Chief Rich Austin says the Department is not trying to discourage the use of the feature, they simply want to make parents aware so children can be kept safe. Social Media can be a good thing when it is used correctly; Austin simply wants to be sure adult and teen users are informed.

If you have not previously set up Snapchat here are step-by-steps for you to follow on your smart phone:

Open Snapchat App

  1. Launch Camera if it does not automatically open with Snapchat

  2. In the middle of the touch screen bring your thumb and forefinger together closing the gap; this will reveal your Avatar – your personal icon on the Snap Map

  3. Click on Settings Menu for locations settings

  4. Turn on Ghost Mode

  5. Close the Snap Chat App

Remember if you are opening Snapchat for the first time it may require additional set up prompts; take the time to follow the directions and make it happen. Further in order to close the app you may have to double click the main button and swipe up on the image that remains open.

This is another opportunity for parents to keep their children safe. Do it!

Lane Taylor