23rd June 2017

Please read the guidance below (taken from a Telegraph article and with content form the Police) about the recent map update on Snapchat.  Remember that Snapchat should not be used by children under the age of 13; older children should use with caution. 

Police forces have raised child safety concerns about a new Snapchat feature that reveals users' locations amid fears it could be used for stalking.  Parents have been warned to turn off 'Snap Maps' on their children's phones after Snapchat, which is wildly popular among teenagers, introduced the location-sharing mode this week.  The feature displays a map of nearby friends, showing their latest location gathered using a smartphone's GPS sensor.  Users of the app can also search for locations such as individual schools, with the app displaying public photos and videos sent by students.  A spokesperson for the National Society for the Protection of Children said: "It’s worrying that Snapchat is allowing under 18s to broadcast their location on the app where it can potentially be accessed by everyone in their contact lists. "With public accounts, this will include those who are not known to the user."  The UK Safer Internet Centre said: "It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.  "Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat - giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map - we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person." 

Parents can turn the feature off on children's phones by setting the app to 'ghost mode'.