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In today’s day and age it’s perfectly normal for teenagers to own their own mobile phone, but do we really know what they’re getting up to when they use it?
With lots of different apps available for them to download, you need to be sure you’re doing all that you can to protect them online. From Snapchat and TikTok to Instagram and Twitter, there are lots of potential dangers when it comes to allowing your child to download social media apps onto their phone, especially if they’re under the age limit required to use the app.
Although you may already be cautious of the various different apps your child can download, you may not be aware of all of the ways in which they can be a danger to them. To help, we’re going to focus on two of the most popular apps for children, Snapchat and Instagram.
We’re going to look at what these apps do, what their dangers are and how you can block them using a Family Safety App.
What Is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging social media app that is extremely popular amongst teens and their friends.
One of the main features of the app is that pictures and messages are usually only available for a short period of time before they become inaccessible to those who received them. To put it simply, once a recipient has opened and read the message, it soon becomes unavailable.
As well as sending messages to one another, users can post to their Snapchat story. This means anyone that they have added as a friend can see what they have posted and reply to it. Most of the time, people post selfies or pictures of where they are.
What Is Instagram?
Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app. Users can upload photos or videos in order to share them with their followers or if they have privacy settings enabled, a select group of their friends.
When their friends or people they follow post, they can view, like and comment on them.
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram also has a ‘stories’ feature. This is where users can post images or videos, all of which will disappear after 2 hours. These can be shown to everyone that followers them or a list of close friends that they can choose themselves. Users can reply to stories, or choose to message people privately off of their main profile page.
What Are The Dangers Of Snapchat?
As one of the most popular apps amongst teens that offers a private messaging function, Snapchat holds a lot of dangers for children.
The first, and most obvious danger, is that users are often under the illusion that because the images disappear after a certain amount of time, they’re only being viewed by the recipient. Unfortunately, this is not the case as people can screenshot what is being sent to them, enabling them to have permanent access to the image. If your child is sending something they don’t want everyone to see, this could be a potential risk to them.
Another common risk for teen users on Snapchat is that they don’t always know who they are befriending. If someone gets a hold of their Snap username and they accept it, they will be able to view any of the photos they post to their public story, as well as approaching them to private message. These stories and messages could include information about their whereabouts and their private lives.
Snapchat vs Instagram
When it comes to the dangers of Instagram for teenagers, they’re often considered to be very similar. With a story-like function, those that do not have their safety features turned on can receive and share information with anyone that views their story.
Instagram, however, has a number of safety features that may make it safer for your children to use. From private profiles to close friends lists, it’s a little easier to protect sensitive information.
How Do You Block Snapchat On Your Child’s Phone?
If you’re worried about your children using Snapchat on their phone, you can block them from being able to use the app by using a *family safety app. This means that you use an external app to choose which apps your child can and cannot use while using their phone. This will stop them from being able to download and access the app altogether.
When it comes to your child using their phone on a daily basis, it’s important you know you’re doing all that you can to monitor the apps they’re using, especially if they’re not considered to be safe.