15 May 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Snapchat Parental Controls

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          Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms among teenagers and young adults.

It allows users to share photos, videos, and messages with their friends and followers.

 

It was created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown and was launched in 2011.

 

Snapchat is known for its unique features, such as disappearing messages and augmented reality filters, which have contributed to its popularity among younger demographics.  

 

However, it also poses several risks to children, including exposure to inappropriate content and cyberbullying.

As a parent, it is important to take measures to ensure your child’s safety while using Snapchat.

 

In this guide, we will discuss: 

 

  • The importance of Snapchat parental controls

 

  • How to set them up

 

  • The best practices for monitoring your child’s activity

 

  • The common issues you may encounter

 

 

 

1/ Why are Snapchat Parental Controls Important?

 

 

As a parent, it’s essential to understand the significance of implementing parental controls on your child’s Snapchat account.

 

Snapchat parental controls are important because:  

 

  • they allow parents to monitor their child’s activity on the app 

 

  • prevent them from being exposed to inappropriate content or cyberbullying.

 

 

With parental controls in place, parents can set limits on who their child can communicate with, how long they can use the app, and what type of content they can view.

 

 

 

 

Snapchat parental controls

Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/4823/teenagers-favorite-social-networks/

 

 

 

 

Snapchat parental controls

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/snapchat-the-most-popular-social-media-among-us-teens/ 

 

 

 

 

A/ Protect Your Children from Inappropriate Content

 

One of the biggest concerns for parents when it comes to social media is the risk of their child being exposed to inappropriate content.

 

Snapchat parental controls offer an additional layer of protection, helping to filter and restrict explicit or inappropriate content that your child may encounter while using the app.

 

Snapchat has a feature called “Discover” that allows users to view news articles and other content from a variety of sources. While much of this content is appropriate for all ages, some of it can be graphic or explicit.

 

With parental controls, parents can limit their child’s access to Discover and prevent them from being exposed to inappropriate content.

Parents can also use the “Restricted Mode” feature, which filters out potentially sensitive content from the app.

 

 

 

 

B/ Prevent Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

 

 

Another concern for parents is the risk of cyberbullying or online harassment.

Cyberbullying and online harassment have become prevalent issues, with social media platforms being a common breeding ground for such behavior.

 

By enabling parental controls on Snapchat, you can actively monitor your child’s interactions and take necessary steps to prevent cyberbullying incidents.

 

Snapchat has a messaging feature that allows users to send direct messages to one another, and while this can be a great way to stay connected with friends, it can also be used for harassment or bullying.

 

With parental controls, parents can limit who their child can communicate with on Snapchat and prevent them from receiving messages from strangers or people they don’t know well. They can also monitor their child’s messages to ensure that they’re not being harassed or bullied.

 

 

 

 

 

2/ How to Set Up Snapchat Parental Controls

 

Now that we understand the importance of Snapchat parental controls, let’s explore the various methods to set them up effectively. The following sections will guide you through the process.

 

 

A/ Enabling Snapchat’s Built-in Parental Controls

 

Snapchat offers several built-in features that can be utilized to enhance the safety of your child’s online experience.

Built-in parental controls allow you to restrict your child’s access to certain features and content: 

 

  • Snap Map: This feature allows users to see the location of their friends on a map. Parents can turn this feature off to prevent their child’s location from being shared.

 

  • Snapchat Score: This feature displays the number of snaps that a user has sent and received. Parents can turn this feature off to prevent their child from becoming overly obsessed with their score.

 

  • Who Can Contact Me: This feature allows users to control who can contact them on Snapchat. Parents can set this to “My Friends” to prevent their child from receiving messages from strangers.

 

  • View My Story: This feature allows users to control who can view their Snapchat stories. Parents can set this to “My Friends” to prevent their child’s stories from being viewed by strangers.

 

  • Family center: The Family Center provides parents and guardians with tools and controls to help them monitor and manage their child’s Snapchat account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To enable parental controls:

 

  1. Change Contact Settings to My Friends

 

Snapchat parental control

   

  2. Disable Show Me in Quick Add

 

Snapchat parental control

 

 

      3. Enable Ghost Mode to Prevent Location Sharing

 

Snapchat parental control

 

 

       4. Prevent Users From Searching by Phone Number

 

Snapchat parental control

 

 

       5. Teach Your Child to Report Inappropriate Behavior

 

 

Snapchat parental control

 

 

 

 

B/ Using Third-Party Parental Control Apps for Snapchat

 

Third-party parental control apps allow you to monitor and restrict your child’s activity on Snapchat. These apps can track your child’s messages, snaps, and friend requests, and send alerts when certain keywords or phrases are used.

 

In addition to the built-in controls, there are third-party applications available (Bark, Qustodio, Net Nanny…) that offer advanced monitoring and filtering options.

 

Our screen time management and parental control app Mr Arthur is perfect for Snapchat and proposes 3 benefits in one:

 

  • Incremental level of protection/filtering 

 

  • Unhealthy screen time converted to smart screen time

 

  • The whole process removes arguments between parents and children

 

 

 

 

 

C/ Best Practices for Monitoring Your Child’s Snapchat Activity

 

Alongside setting up parental controls, it is essential to adopt best practices for monitoring your child’s Snapchat activity:

 

  • Talk to your child about Snapchat and the risks associated with it.

 

  • Set clear rules and boundaries for using Snapchat, such as not sharing personal information or accepting friend requests from strangers.

 

  • Regularly check your child’s Snapchat activity, including messages, snaps, and friend requests.

 

  • Familiarize yourself with the app’s features and updates to stay up-to-date on any changes that may affect your child’s safety.

 

 

 

 

3/ Common Issues with Snapchat Parental Controls

 

While parental controls are designed to enhance the safety of your child’s Snapchat experience, they can sometimes encounter issues or limitations. Let’s address some common issues you may come across and discuss potential solutions.

 

 

 

A/ Technical Glitches and Bugs

 

Like any digital platform, Snapchat may experience technical glitches or bugs that can affect the proper functioning of parental controls.

 

One common issue with Snapchat Parental Controls is technical glitches or bugs.

Sometimes the controls may not work as intended, or they may fail to block inappropriate content. This can be frustrating for parents who are relying on these controls to protect their children.

 

To address this issue, it is important to keep your Snapchat app up to date.

Snapchat often releases updates that address bugs and improve the performance of the app. You can also try restarting your device or clearing the app cache to see if that helps resolve any issues.

 

If the issue persists, you may need to contact Snapchat support for assistance. They can help troubleshoot the issue and provide further guidance on how to resolve it.

 

 

 

 

B/ How to Handle Resistance from Your Child

 

Implementing parental controls may face resistance from your child, who may feel it encroaches upon their privacy or independence. This can lead to conflict between parents and children.

 

To address this issue, it is important to have an open and honest conversation with your child about why you are implementing parental controls on their Snapchat account.

 

  •  Explain to them the risks associated with using social media and why it is important to stay safe online.

 

  • You can also involve your child in setting up the controls. Ask for their input and allow them to have some control over how the controls are set up. This can help them feel more comfortable and empowered in the process.

 

It is also important to set clear boundaries and consequences for any violations of those boundaries. This will help your child understand that the parental controls are in place to protect them and are not intended to be punitive.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

           While Snapchat can be a fun and creative platform, it is essential for parents to be aware of its potential risks. Snapchat parental controls play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of your children while they navigate the online world. 

 

Parental controls serve as a means to safeguard your child’s online experience and protect them from harmful content, online predators, or cyberbullying.

By implementing appropriate controls, you can strike a balance between granting your child independence, ensuring their safety, preventing cyberbullying, and actively monitoring their Snapchat activity.

 

 Remember to stay informed about the latest features and updates to maintain an effective level of control and security.

 

 

 

FAQ’s

 

  • What age is appropriate for my child to start using Snapchat?

 

Snapchat recommends that users be at least 13 years old to create an account. However, the decision ultimately rests with parents who should consider their child’s maturity level and ability to understand and follow online safety guidelines.

 

 

  • Can I monitor my child’s Snapchat activity without them knowing?

 

Snapchat does not provide built-in monitoring features for parents. However, there are third-party monitoring apps available that can help track your child’s Snapchat usage. It is important to have open communication with your child about monitoring and ensure that trust and privacy are maintained.

 

 

 

  • Are there any ways to limit the time my child spends on Snapchat?

 

Snapchat itself does not offer time-limiting features. However, as a parent, you can set guidelines and boundaries regarding screen time and encourage your child to engage in other offline activities. It is important to have open discussions with your child about responsible technology use.

 

 

 

  • Can I block specific individuals from contacting my child on Snapchat?

 

Yes, Snapchat provides options to restrict who can contact your child. You can adjust privacy settings to only allow approved contacts to send messages or view your child’s stories. It is crucial to educate your child about accepting friend requests only from people they know in real life.

 

 

 

  • How can I ensure my child’s safety when using Snap Map?

 

To ensure your child’s safety while using Snap Map, it is advisable to set the location-sharing to “Ghost Mode.” This ensures that your child’s location is not visible to others on the platform. Educate your child about the importance of only sharing their location with trusted friends and acquaintances.

 

 

 

  • What should I do if my child encounters inappropriate content on Snapchat?

 

If your child comes across inappropriate content on Snapchat, encourage them to talk to you about it. Report the content to Snapchat by using the in-app reporting feature. Additionally, consider adjusting the Discover settings to limit access to specific publishers or topics to reduce the chances of encountering such content.

 

 

 

  • How often should I communicate with my child about their Snapchat usage?

 

Regular communication with your child about their Snapchat usage is important. Have open and non-judgmental conversations to understand their experiences and address any concerns. Encourage them to approach you if they encounter any issues or feel uncomfortable while using the app.

 

 

 

  • Should I allow my child to use Snapchat while they are at school?

 

School policies may vary, so it is important to consult with your child’s school regarding their rules and guidelines on social media usage during school hours. Additionally, discuss responsible smartphone and app usage with your child, emphasizing the importance of focusing on their studies during school hours.

 

 

 

  • Are there any additional resources available to help parents navigate Snapchat parental controls?

 

Yes, there are various online resources, articles, and guides available that provide further information on Snapchat parental controls and online safety for children. Additionally, you can reach out to local community organizations or parenting groups that offer workshops or support in navigating these issues.

 

 

 

  • How can I balance granting my child independence on Snapchat while ensuring their safety?

 

Balancing independence and safety is crucial. Set clear boundaries and guidelines with your child, explaining the reasons behind the safety measures. Foster open communication, trust, and education about responsible social media usage, empowering your child to make informed decisions while using Snapchat.

 

Sources:

 

  1. Statista, https://www.statista.com/chart/4823/teenagers-favorite-social-networks/ 

 

  1. Visual capitalist, https://www.visualcapitalist.com/snapchat-the-most-popular-social-media-among-us-teens/ 

 

  1. Youtube video, https://youtu.be/CcUATXoLyzQ  

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