Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Snap Map Cyber Safety Alert

Snapchat’s new map feature is causing some concerns among safety advocates. In the world of cyber safety it’s important for parents to know about the dangers that may be lurking in the palm of your child’s hands.

Snapchat is an app that allows users to take pictures and post live videos. Snap Maps, the new feature, uses the phone’s GPS to plot the location of users and their snaps in real time onto a map. This allows friends and other Snapchatters to see where they are located down to the exact street. This may seem like harmless fun to kids but parents can see the inherent dangers. Police Chief James Bandon says, “It’s important to make parents aware of this new Snapchat feature and encourage them to talk to their kids about being careful when choosing what to share on social media. Kids should limit their snapchats only to people they know.”

The Southlake Police Department is offering some tips on protecting your children in the cyber world. One way is to enable “Ghost Mode” on Snap Maps.

To enable Ghost Mode:

  • Pinch the screen when the app is open and this will load the map.
  • When you do it for the first time, it should ask you if you want to activate “Ghost Mode.”
  • If it doesn’t, tap the icon in the top right corner, where you will be able to check a box to enable it.

Facebook Check-in:

  • Remind your children to use caution when checking in on Facebook. This feature allows anyone in their circle of friends, or outside the circle if their page is not set as private, to see where they are.

Twitter location:

  • Users can also add their location to tweets so remind teens to use caution when in cyber space.

The safety of our community is very important to us and we want to make sure that all social media users, especially our most vulnerable teens, stay safe in the cyber world. Remember that you and your children can reach out to School Resource Officers during the school year for guidance on cyber safety and any other issues facing young kids and teens.