Snapchat, the popular photo and video-sharing app has released a location-sharing update to Snap Maps. Naturally, this update is making parents worry about their children’s safety.
With this newly updated feature, not only could your children talk to strangers, but they could also unknowingly disclose their exact location, down to the street address, and even the exact house number,
Now, if that sounds spooky, that’s because it is. In addition to disclosing their exact location, Snapchat now estimates how long it’ll take to drive there using Google Maps.
What is Snap Map and why are parents worried?
Snap Map requires users to enable location sharing. Snapchat uses this to offer real-time location tracking.
Users’ location is shared with Snapchat friends, then used to search for nearby Snaps. It is also shared with other Snap Map users across the world. Each shared live location update disappears after four hours.
Health and beauty brand, Ethan Thomas Collection, shared this hint in a now-deleted Facebook post that has since gone viral. It posted
“Click the drive icon which will open google maps and it gives you their precise address. Even the house number! ‘If you have kids, turn their location off or put it in ghost mode.”
Although this feature is opt-in and can be disabled in the settings by turning off Precise Location, not many parents or their children may know how to do this.
Snapchat+ also shares users’ location data
Snapchat’s new subscription service, Snapchat+, brings exclusive data insights including the ability to see your friends’ location history in the last 24 hours and rewatch their Stories. This is almost similar to Google’s Location History and Google Map Timeline features.
If you’re concerned about sharing your location with others, you should turn off Precise Location and enable Ghost Mode to prevent location sharing. You should also educate your teens on the dangers of cyberstalking by other Snapchat users.
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