Snapchat is a chat service that sends self-destructing messages. Users send text messages or photos to other members, which are supposed to disappear within seconds of receipt. Unfortunately, images shared don’t always disappear and may leave your child open to humiliation, bullying, blackmail or worse.
### Snapchat: #1 app, #1 threat to kids
Snapchat has seen a huge increase in popularity amongst teens; it is now one of the most used apps worldwide. This popularity and buzz has led to more than $60 million dollars of venture capital funding. Snapchat is a great idea but unless used with care by kids, it can be dangerous and cause real problems.
### What are the risks?
Kids don’t always see the dangers and need protection when they are online. They also need your help and advice, which is where free tools like Qustodio can really help. Sharing photos isn’t always innocuous and even parents aren’t always aware of the risks. You may be sharing far more than you think.
### How to keep your child safe
If you have multiple devices and your kid has their own phone, tablet or computer you need to keep talking to them about online safety. Explain that anything they share online can become public and that they can come to you with any problems. You should also think about downloading Qustodio.
### When private becomes public
Snapchat’s features means that many teens are sharing private images of themselves believing only the recipient will ever see them. Unfortunately, you can’t unsend and the tech savvy have found easy exploits and ways to keep them. A private photo can leak online, go viral and ruin the rest of your child’s life.
### Snapchat: Easily Exploited
Snapchat’s own parents’ guide warns “although [images] are designed to disappear in 10 seconds or less, there is no guarantee”. An easy exploit is using ‘screenshot’ to keep a copy and there are numerous other means. There’s no security and this could lead to your child being exploited in many different ways.
### How your child can be exploited
Shocking cases like that of Amanda Todd show how vulnerable teens are: an image shared can lead to blackmail and worse. The best way to protect your kid is by maintaining dialogue; show interest and be supportive so that they can tell you when something troubles them. Installing a program like Qustodio can help.
### How to keep tabs on your kid’s apps
Qustodio helps parents see what apps are being used and spot bad apps. Messaging or photo sharing apps should only be used with guidance and discussion. You also see usage of devices, what websites are being visited and many, many other features designed to keep you informed and your child safe.
### Get it now, free
Learn more about how Qustodio can help you keep your child safe. It’s easy to install, simple to use and can be used free of charge on the many different devices in your home. Install it and stop worrying now.
#### Other Articles About Child Safety from Qustodio
– How to Manage Your Child’s Internet Time
– How to Find Out What Your Kid is Really Up to on Facebook
– Teaching Your Teen How to Manage His Online Reputation
– When and How to Talk to Your Child about Online Predators
Snapchats don’t disappear http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/05/09/snapchats-dont-disappear/
Snapchat closes $60 Million Round http://allthingsd.com/20130624/snapchat-closes-60-million-round-led-by-ivp-now-at-200-million-daily-snaps/
Instagram – Is it OK for Kids? http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/2012/02/instagram-is-it-okay-for-kids-what-parents-need-to-know/
Suicide of Amanda Todd http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Amanda_Todd