For COVID-19 updates, visit the official government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za for free.

Vodacom Now!

Many children and teens have embraced Snapchat, thanks to features like face swap and lenses.They also like to hang around on a social media and messaging app that their parents and teachers don’t really use. Snapchat offers youngsters a fun way to connect with friends, but like other social media networks, it exposes them to potential dangers such as cyberbullying, age-inappropriate content, scammers and other predators.

'Ephemeral’ mobile social media apps—especially Snapchat—are becoming increasingly popular among young South Africans. Posts and messages on these apps disappear after all recipients have seen them, or after a set amount of time has passed.

This may lead to a young user being careless about the photos and information he or she shares, thinking it’s all going to disappear after a few seconds. But other users can use the screenshot facility on their phones to capture an image of a Snap or Chat and share it. As such, parents should encourage children to be careful about what they share, especially with people they don’t know well. If they would be embarrassed for their grandparent or a teacher to see their Snap or Chat, they should ask themselves if they really want to post it.

The good news is that these risks can be managed. Here are some tips from Alcatel on how parents can help their children have a safe experience on Snapchat.

Keep personal information private

Teach your child to be careful about sharing any personally identifiable information on Snapchat. They should never share details like their phone number, home address and passwords with anyone.

Restrict who can contact your child

Snapchat’s privacy settings make it easy for your child to receive snaps only from people who they have added to their contact or friends list. Double check these settings to make sure that the ‘Friends only’ and not the ‘everyone’ option is activated.

Limit who can see a Snapchat ‘Story’ 

A ‘Story’ is a collection of Snaps that your child can post to the stories section of their account. These Snaps are by default, shared with all friends and can be viewed for a period of 24 hours (unless it is deleted). Use the ‘Who Can’ menu in the settings to block specific friends from seeing certain stories. 

Switch off the Snap Map service

Snap Map tracks your child’ current location and places their Bitmoji avatar on a map like a pin, meaning your child’s location can be seen by her friends.  Switch this functionality off in the Settings menu for extra safety.

Block pests and bullies 

If your child is being harassed or feels threatened by another Snapchat user, use the block feature to stop them from contacting your child.

In addition to Snapchat, many young South Africans are using other ephemeral apps like Instagram and Facebook Stories and similar principles apply to those apps too. Alcatel advises parents to seek a balance between helping their children understand the dangers of social media and allowing them to have fun with their friends.

Learn with tech from Vodacom 

Upgrade to the latest device and start enjoying the incredible world of tech. Check out the cellphone deals on Vodacom Online and get free delivery, free connection and free SIM.

Suggested Posts

Managing your content services

Megan Ellis | 17th Jul 20

View more
Need to manage or unsubscribe from WASP, add-to-bill, or V-Live content services? Here are the ways Vodacom customers can do this.
Megan Ellis142 Followers

5 messenging apps to use on Valentine’s Day

Lauren Goldman | 1st Feb 20

View more
Running out of ways to declare your love? Get your point across with these messenging apps. 
Lauren Goldman47 Followers

Use your mobile phone as a hotspot

Vodacom | 15th Jan 20

View more
Need to go online with your laptop or tablet when the Wi-Fi's down or while you're travelling? Create a portable hotspot and use your phone's data to connect.
Vodacom 379 Followers