I’m pretty sure I’ve told you all before (probably many times) that Miss Frugal is a Snapchat fan. She uses the app to keep in touch with her friends and there’s nothing she likes more than a good Snapchat filter.
Usually I don’t have an issue with her using the app – she knows how I expect her to behave when she’s using social media and the rules she need follow such as only adding people she knows and never sharing personal details about herself like her address.
That last one is a biggie! We’ve drilled into her repeatedly that she should never share her address online with people and even now, I still remind her of that rule even though I know it’s not something she’s likely to forget with the number of times I’ve told her.
So why, why, why would Snapchat introduce a map feature that does just that?
The new update from the last week now lets the app tap into the GPS system automatically and puts you on a map with all your friends who are in the same area. The Snapmap doesn’t look too bad from the first viewpoint as the locations seem quite vague but just as you can on Google Maps you can zoom in to street view and it’s extremely accurate. It even shows you in a car when you’re moving faster than a walk!
Thursday morning was the first time I became aware of the Snapmap as I was taking the kids to school and Miss Frugal was able to tell me friends who we were about to pass in the car, friends who were still at home and even a friend who was in a car a couple of cars ahead of us!
I’ll be honest, I was hurrying to drop them off at school and get to work so I didn’t think too much of it but as the day wore on, I thought about it more and more and by the end of the day I was really uncomfortable with the idea.
We looked at the app together that night and turned on ‘Ghost Mode’ which is where only she can see her location but she can still see all of her friends (those who haven’t enabled ghost mode anyway).
There are warnings being shared by various children’s groups and police forces highlighting this but I wanted to share it here because it horrified me to see that, even when accounts are locked down, there are still certain circumstances where it’s possible for people outside of a contact list to view locations.
You can switch on the Ghost mode that I mentioned in about 10 seconds – just pinch the screen when you are in selfie mode to bring up Snap Map. Then, click the settings icon in the top right hand corner and set the phone to “ghost mode”.
And while you’re on the social media case, have a quick audit of their other accounts if they have any and make sure that not only are they locked down but that you can see who they message. I don’t read the content of the messages as that’s private but I do see who she’s messages – I trust her completely but I don’t think I’d be doing my job as a parent if I didn’t check. 😉
PS – Thanks to Emma (of Emma’s Savvy Savings and Emma and 3 fame) for the photos I used here – I didn’t want to share Miss Frugal’s as some of her friends parents read here and I didn’t want to share where they live).
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