Your Cart

Snapchat for Teenagers: Dangers and Risks

Snapchat may be very common amongst teenagers. It is a cellphone app that enables customers to ship pictures and movies (referred to as snaps) to different customers. Nevertheless, in contrast to with pictures or movies despatched by way of textual content or electronic mail, these despatched on Snapchat disappear seconds after they’re considered. Snapchat does have some dangers, so it is essential for folks to concentrate on the way it works. Use this information to Snapchat to assist hold your tween or teen safer on-line.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat permits customers can ship time-limited pictures that is perhaps embarrassing or simply foolish with no vital worry that a picture will discover its approach to different social media websites the place it would dwell without end. With Snapchat, teenagers have a approach to work together that feels genuine and enjoyable. It is meant to be low-pressure and low-stakes.

This sense of freedom and low penalties can encourage children to ship extra questionable footage than they usually may. Sadly, there are methods to seize and get better photographs despatched by way of Snapchat, which is why nobody ought to develop a false sense of safety about them.

How Snapchat Works

As soon as a teen downloads the Snapchat app, they create an account and set a password. The app then accesses their cellphone contacts to load associates to the app, or they will add different associates past their contact listing.

As soon as they load the app and log in, they will take a photograph, edit it, and add a filter, caption, or stickers. Then they choose the chums to ship the picture to and set a timer from one to 10 seconds. After the picture is shipped, the receiver has that a lot time to take a look at the picture earlier than the message “self-destructs.”

Associates can then take their very own pictures to answer or simply ship a textual content message again.

The Origins of Snapchat

Snapchat was developed by two Stanford College college students who felt emoticons weren’t ample to transmit the emotion somebody may want could possibly be despatched with a textual content message.

However they have been additionally nervous {that a} fast snap of a cellphone digital camera displaying a selected emotion may find yourself being inappropriate for a social media web site the place the image could possibly be posted for all of the world to see. Thus, the idea of a time-limited photo-sharing utility was born.


Snapchat is wildly common with teenagers. About 41% of teenagers ages 13 to 17 utilizing the app, in keeping with the Pew Analysis Group. Take into account these stats, compiled by Omnicore:

  • In 2020, Snapchat had a mean of 218 million every day energetic customers that generated over three billion snaps a day.
  • Lively Snapchatters open the app 30 instances a day.
  • Greater than 60% of energetic Snapchatters create new content material every day.
  • On common, customers spend 49.5 minutes a day on Snapchat and ship 34.1 messages a day.

Parental Considerations About Snapchat

Regardless of its reputation, mother and father are proper to be involved about Snapchat. It has a number of points that may compromise children’ security.

First, Snapchat would not save footage and messages despatched so you’ll be able to see them later. So it is extremely onerous for folks to watch their teen’s exercise on Snapchat. Even in case you have a monitoring device that means that you can see the content material of your kid’s cellphone remotely, you will not be capable to see what was despatched after which mechanically deleted. Which will increase some issues.

Second, whereas the picture message disappears after a number of seconds, the receiver can take a screenshot of the picture whereas it is dwell. Which means it is probably not gone.

If a receiver takes a screenshot of the picture, the sender is notified. However the receiver can nonetheless simply share the picture with others.

A receiver may additionally take a photograph of the display with one other cellphone or digital digital camera to evade the notification characteristic. Then the sender wouldn’t know that their supposedly evaporating picture is preserved on another person’s machine.

Lastly, due to the decrease dangers of getting a photograph finally making the rounds of the Web, it is also tempting for teenagers to make use of Snapchat for sexting. Snapchat itself admits that as much as 25% of customers could ship delicate content material frequently “experimentally.”

One father, whose daughter was being bullied by way of Snapchat—a reportedly all-too-common prevalence—was in a position to make use of this workaround for good when he recorded one of many bullying snaps by taking a video of it on his personal cellphone.

Mother and father who permit their youngsters to have Snapchat have to have a critical dialogue with their children in regards to the dangers related to the false sense of safety that Snapchat could present.

Different Snapchat Options

Along with picture sharing and messaging, Snapchat has different options that folks ought to concentrate on.

Snap Map

Snap Map permits customers to share their location in actual time with anybody on their Snapchat pal listing and see the areas of their associates who do the identical. The characteristic is a means to make use of the placement companies already accessible in lots of different smartphone apps.

Since some Snapchat contacts will not be actual associates, this can be a huge security threat. It will also be a supply of damage emotions if children really feel excluded from a gathering.

Except there is a particular occasion and it makes it simpler for associates to know one another’s location, consultants advise leaving Snap Map off or utilizing it in “ghost mode,” which lets you see the placement of associates who have not hidden their areas.


The Uncover characteristic permits customers to see content material from common media channels—a lot of which can provide sexually oriented content material. Though Snapchat’s phrases of service discourage express content material, these channels embrace photographs posted from magazines, tv stations, and different content material suppliers that may be inappropriate for youngsters. Take into account this when deciding at which age to permit your baby to make use of Snapchat.

A few of the common channels featured on Uncover embrace MTV, Cosmopolitan, Vice, and BuzzFeed.

A lawsuit filed in California in 2016 cited some offensive Snapchat Uncover content material together with “folks share their secret guidelines for intercourse” and “10 issues he thinks when he cannot make you orgasm.” Some mother and father will not be snug with their tweens and teenagers having fast entry to articles like these.


A Snapstreak is when two customers have snapped backwards and forwards inside a 24-hour interval for 3 days in a row. As soon as this happens, a flame emoji and a quantity will seem subsequent to the customers’ names to point out how lengthy the streak has been maintained. Sustaining streaks is essential to teenagers as a result of streaks permit children to work together socially and really feel a part of one thing a lot of their friends are doing.

For a lot of children, they are a measure of their friendships. Specialists fear, although, that the strain of holding a streak going—teenagers are sometimes sustaining many streaks on the identical time—could take a toll on children.

Snapchat Safeguards for Teenagers

It is essential to notice that Snapchat does have a minimal age of 13, which is in compliance with the Kids’s On-line Privateness Safety Act. When it is downloaded, Snapchat asks for date of beginning, and if the person is below 13, they’re redirected to the child model, referred to as “SnapKidz,” which is extra restrictive than Snapchat (for example, you’ll be able to’t add associates or share something).

Some teenagers could also be mature and accountable sufficient to make use of Snapchat safely at age 13, however others may have a number of years extra, As their guardian, you’re the finest choose of when your baby is able to use Snapchat. You may as well resolve to allow them to attempt it out, however in the event you really feel they don’t seem to be utilizing it appropriately, you’ll be able to put it on pause till they’re able to attempt once more.

It isn’t unusual for underage children to discover a workaround (that’s, utilizing a faux birthdate) to allow them to open an account.

A Phrase From Verywell

Snapchat could be a enjoyable and fascinating app when used appropriately, fastidiously, and with very particular floor guidelines. Apps like Snapchat remind mother and father that they must be vigilant about their youngsters’s smartphone use and speaking to them about expectations for his or her exercise to forestall issues like sexting, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, or different potential downsides of smartphone use by youngsters.

× WhatsApp