On the Snap Map

Is your child or teenager a Snapchat user? Child safety concerns have recently been raised about a new Snapchat feature that reveals users’ locations amid fears it could be used for stalking. Parents have been warned to turn off “Snap Maps” on their children’s phones after Snapchat, which is especially popular among teenagers, introduced the location-sharing mode in late June. The feature displays a map of nearby friends, showing their latest location gathered using a smartphone’s GPS sensor. Users of the app can also search for locations such as individual schools, with the app displaying public photos and videos sent by students. While the feature is designed to help friends meet up or attend events together, it has raised fears that it could be abused.

The UK Safer Internet Centre explains: “It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time. Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat – giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map – we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.”

Please remember that parents can turn the feature off on children’s phones by setting the app to “ghost mode”. For further information, please see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40509281