Things That Parents Should Know About Snapchat App

The number of websites that are made available to engage in social media is increasing as the days grow. Most of the creators of these apps mostly market towards the largest groups of screen viewers, which happens to be the youngest audience, from 13 to 25. While these apps are made for adults, children inevitably download and use the apps as well. The fact that children can simply download and use any app they choose does not mean that they are thinking about safety when they are using them. One app that is often misused by or unsafe for teens is Snapchat.

Snapchat it is a video and photo messaging app designed for fun. The app can be used on iPhones and iPads, or Android smartphones and tablets as well. It was developed by Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy. Snapchat allows its users to chat with their friends through texts, photos and videos.

How does Snapchat work?

Once Snapchat is downloaded and installed onto a smartphone or tablet, the user creates a name and password for themselves. The app then goes through the device’s contacts list and gives them a chance to invite or add friends to the Snapchat profile from the contact list whether they have Snapchat or not.

After this, users share messages, and exciting moments through photos and videos. The texts, videos or photos sent are referred to as “snaps”. Snapchat has also developed a system in which snaps shared can be developed into a story which can be accessed by other members. Snapchat is also designed to allow the user to set an amount of time for any photo or video sent in which the message will be permanently erased and unavailable once the recipient reads or views the message.

Why has Snapchat attracted so many users?

Within months after its launch in 2005, Snapchat was facilitating up to 2 million videos and photos sent daily. The number of videos increased rapidly and by 2016 there were 7 million* Snapchat messages and stories being shared daily. Snapchat users enjoy following their favorite users through stories of their lives, and those who are making the videos are appreciative that the videos will not be around to be analyzed and criticized later. Snapchat has been used for quick, quirky and off the cuff remarks that users may or may not be sure of how well it will be accepted.

Many users have loved the app since it is easy install, configure and use. Once Snapchat has been installed, it will automatically add other Snapchat users by browsing through the smartphone or tablet’s contact list for contacts who also have the app installed. Snapchat gives its users privacy by allowing them to share self-destructive messages, photos and videos with their friends.

How safe is Snapchat?

Surely bad company corrupts good morals. Far too often, teenagers are the ones who perform wild and dangerous stunts in attempts to gain attention or top their rivals. Those in romantic relationships use the app to share private photos and videos with each other with the knowledge that the message will disappear once it has been seen.

Although it may seem that Snapchat would be a good outlet for certain foolish behavior since photos and videos shared on the app go away, but in fact, it would encourage that this type of behavior is acceptable from children as long as they do it in certain ways. The fact is that someone with another camera can simply copy whatever is being sent to them and teens that are making poor decisions already will find their secret message was not kept as secret as they would have liked.

Should parents be concerned about Snapchat?

There are a number of reasons why a teenager would be interested in using Snapchat, and not all of those reasons are so that they can trade explicit photographs that go away once they have been viewed. Not all people who use the app are sharing things that they want to hide, they just find it convenient that any mistakes they make in photography or embarrassing moments aren’t kept around to haunt them later.

Not all usage of Snapchat is edgy, but it certainly provides a way to hide communications or sneakily share the kinds of information that parents should all be concerned about. This app is commonly used to share photos or videos from alcohol-fueled shenanigans, to convey the possession of narcotics, or to share lewd moments with a romantic partner. Parents who are concerned with securing a bright future for their children will want to address whether their children use the Snapchat app or not.

How can you keep your children safe as a parent?

Snapchat is an app which can be downloaded onto any smartphone or tablet, regardless of how old the person is who downloads it. Parents who want to keep their children safe with smartphones or tablets must first learn how these devices are used and how they can be used the wrong way.

Children should be able to share with their parents about everything that goes on with the device their parent provides them and parents should feel free to ask questions about how to use certain apps and set the same apps their kids use on their own devices. By doing this, parents will be more aware when their children are hanging with the wrong crowd or if cyberbullying occurs. Parents will also be able to make more educated decisions on allowing their children to use certain applications like Snapchat.

For keeping track on how your underage child uses your smartphone or tablet, smartphone monitoring software will provide parents with detailed reports on who their children are talking to, which websites they are visiting and what kinds of files are being stored on a smartphone or tablet. PhoneSheriff is an app that parents add to the a smartphone which their child uses. It gives parents the ability to sign in from their own device or computer to see how their child is using the phone that the parents provided.


*Correction: as of April 2016, over 10 billion videos are viewed on Snapchat daily

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