Snapchat is easily one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide. It’s predominantly a messaging application that allows users to share various forms of media that disappear after being seen. People from all age groups use the service to connect and communicate with friends or to meet new people online.
Snapchat has 319 million users, and although it may sound overwhelming to connect with many people, the platform can become a risky environment to delve into. Some of the most common risks include encountering malicious users and posting illicit material that may negatively implicate you in the future.
In this article, you’ll find six different ways you can make sure you’re staying safe as you enjoy using Snapchat.
Don’t Accept Friend Requests From Strangers
One of the many temptations on Snapchat is to grow your friend list as much as possible. It is made stronger by the fact that the algorithm tends to recommend new friends who are mutual friends with some of the people you’ve added. You may also encounter total strangers who found you online or who found you on the platform.
People often share selfies and videos of what’s current in their lives, often making it a relatively personal social media experience. Considering the nature of Snapchat and social media in general, it’s best only to include people you know in your friend list and ignore or delete requests from strangers. Block persistent accounts you’re unfamiliar with.
For parents, the disparity between age groups and types of content may be a concern. If you’re worried about your child’s activity on the network, you may be interested in using a free Snapchat spy app to ensure your child is engaging only in safe activities.
Take Control Of Your Privacy Settings
So, Snapchat typically asks for a fair bit of information about you, such as your email, location, and phone number. It also gives you various options regarding how much of this is shared with others.
It’s not uncommon for social media apps to come with default privacy settings that reveal more personal information than what one should be sharing online. When you first get a Snapchat account, the first thing you should do is read through all the privacy settings and set them to your preference.
For example, it’s a good idea to go through the privacy settings concerning your posts, who can contact you, and who can add you. Adjust these so only your friends can interact with what you do on the platform. Additionally, turning off Snapchat’s 'Quick Add' feature will further prevent strangers from trying to get onto your friend list.
Create A Strong Password And Keep It Safe
Choosing to make a strong password is crucial for all online accounts, including Snapchat. Your password should be unique and hard to guess. Avoid creating passwords that strongly relate to things others may know about you, such as birthdays, names, pets, etc. Your password should have a combination of special characters, numbers, and upper and lowercase letters. This way, cybercriminals will find it hard to hack your account.
Should someone have access to your Snapchat account, they’ll immediately be able to see all the personal information (emails, phone numbers, location, etc.) you’ve kept private on your profile. A strong password helps protect your account from hackers and unauthorized logins. In that same breath, never share your password with anyone to prevent it from being disclosed without your knowledge.
Turn On Two-Factor Authentication
Enabling the two-factor authentication feature on Snapchat adds an extra layer of login security to your account. In other words, activating this security measure puts additional steps in the way of signing into your account. It works by sending a one-time password to your registered email address or phone number to confirm that it's you that logged in to your Snapchat account. The purpose is to ensure that it’s genuinely the account owner attempting to log in rather than an intruder.
The setup is relatively easy and won’t take long to do. So, make sure to activate this security feature on your account. You’ll need to take extra steps each time you sign into your Snapchat account, and the improved security is worth it.
Think About What You Post
Aside from only monitoring what personal information you’ve made available and to whom through Snapchat’s settings, you should always consider what you post and send through the app. Although it’s true that Snapchat messages typically disappear after being seen, screenshots are permanent. Anyone who can see your snaps can screenshot what you’ve posted.
The fact is that people, particularly teens and young adults, may be tempted to post pictures or videos of themselves doing certain activities that they’d otherwise not share. It can happen under the pretense that posts are automatically deleted. However, anything can happen in the digital world. So, it's best to be prudent with what you do and post on your account. This way, you won't have anything to regret when things go wrong. Always think before you click.
Parents, Teach Teens About Safety
In this digital world, a child’s online safety is a common concern for parents. You can take every security precaution available, but that's often not enough to prevent all security risks and unwanted users from trying to enter your child’s Snapchat.
That said, educating your child about malicious users, hackers, and the potential danger of posting revealing or illicit things online can go a long way to preventing future complications.
Snapchat is a popular social media platform used by people of all ages. It can be a fun way to communicate with people you know, but it can also be a backdoor for malicious users to see into your personal life. To counter malicious activities by cybercriminals, watch your privacy settings, protect your password, monitor what you post, and educate yourself on the dangers of social media. Do these things to stay on top of the risks and maintain a safe and enjoyable Snapchat experience.
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