What you need to know about Snap Map

Posted by / Monday 26 June 2017 / Online
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Snapchat's location sharing feature raises safety fears around children - find out what it is and how to turn it off.

You might have already heard of Snapchat's location sharing feature, Snap Map. The popular social media app acquired the location app Zenly in early 2017 and shortly after rolled out the new feature to users. The company describes it as a way of viewing "Snaps of sporting events, celebrations, breaking news and more from all across the world", what it means for users is that they can broadcast their location and see the location of friends.

If your children use Snapchat, Snap Map could put them at risk. The location targeting is accurate enough to determine exactly where they live.

How do you turn it off?

Share your location

To turn off the feature, you can select "Ghost Mode".

Snapchat has stressed that this is an opt in feature and won't automatically turn on - the first time a user accesses the map (by pinching your fingers as if zooming out on the camera screen), they'll be asked who they want to be able to share their location with on the map. If "Ghost Mode" is selected, the user's location won't be broadcasted and no one will be able to see it.

If you're not sure whether "Ghost Mode" was initially chosen, you can check or select it at a later date via "settings", following the steps below.

Ghost Mode

1. Open Snapchat and swipe down with your finger

2. Click the "settings" cog in the top right corner

3. Scroll down to the "WHO CAN..." section (here you can change permissions for who can "Contact Me", "View My Story" and "See My Location"

4. Select "See My Location" and turn "Ghost Mode" on.

Having regular and open conversations with your children about their social media use and the do's and don't's is great for making sure they're keeping safe online. Check out Safer Internet Day's tips and advice for parents and carers for some tips and guidance.