A new feature has been released on the smartphone app Snapchat, which has raised concerns over the safety of children.
Snapchat, a smartphone app which allows users to send messages and photos to their ‘Snapchat friends’, has released a new feature called ‘Snap Map’. Snap Map, which was released in June, allows Snapchat friends to see your location on a real-time map, which is updated every time you log on to the app.
Parents across the country are being told to ensure that their children have the suitable and correct privacy settings set up on their smartphones, so strangers cannot see their location at any time.
Comments from the NSPCC have shown their concern for the new feature, warning children not to share their location with anyone that they do not know, as they could be online predators.
‘Ghost mode’ is a setting on Snap Map which hides the user’s location and the NSPCC have urged youngsters to enable this to remain safe.
NSPCC’s child safety online expert, Rose Bray has said: “Even limiting Snap Maps to the ‘friends only’ setting is risky if those contacts include people you don’t know.
“It’s important for parents to have regular conversations with young people about staying safe online, and making sure that they know how to protect their privacy.”
Charlotte Driver, a supervisor for Suffolk’s cyber team has also made comment on this new tool, stating that: “The reality is you don’t know the people on there, but with this Snap Map, they can know they are at home.
“There is nowhere to hide. You could use it to follow people, to stalk people, to know when they are at home.”
Plans for the cyber team to visit schools across the country are now in place, to let youngsters know of the dangers of Snap Map and making sure children are keeping safe while using the app.