An Educator’s Guide to Snapchat and Privacy

August 22, 2022
An Educator’s Guide to Snapchat and Privacy

Snapchat is a popular digital messaging app that can quickly jeopardize and compromise the personal privacy of users and individuals. The ability to quickly send instant visual content with the option of entertaining filters, embellishments, and overlaying text can easily distract from good decision making and privacy considerations. Users of Snapchat should be aware of potential privacy concerns when using this app and be careful and considerate with the visual content and information of themselves and others that they choose to share.

A candid image can be instantly sent to others

Many candid Snapchat images are taken at the spur of the moment and without permission. It is extremely easy to capture visual content of others and instantly send it without consideration of others' privacy or consent. Not only that, but candid visual content may be unflattering, harmful to one’s well being, and damaging to relationships. Always be considerate of the privacy, boundaries, and preferences of others when using the Snapchat messaging app.

A user's physical location can be visible on a map

Be aware of who can see your physical location while using Snapchat, perhaps consider turning off your location altogether. Although it might be convenient to see the current location of your Snapchat friends, this can present dangerous privacy and safety concerns. Not everyone has good intentions when it comes to using the Snapchat map, and an unknown user knowing your personal location could place you in a vulnerable position.

Snaps, stories, and chats can be saved to view later

In Snapchat group chats it is possible to save visual content and text information to view at a later time. Most users intend for content to disappear between contacts and friends, but this can enable others to hold on to certain images or conversations. It can be an uneasy feeling knowing that your personal privacy is in the trust of others. Always be aware of what you are sending and think twice before sending content that you wouldn’t feel comfortable to be saved on a Snapchat account belonging to someone else.

Screenshots can perpetuate harmful content

There is no such thing as privacy with screenshots. Screenshots give visual content everlasting longevity and new twists on the original intention and purpose. Screenshots capture one moment in an online interaction and contain the power to be broadcast to an undefined user group within seconds. Be prepared using Snapchat that anything you send to others can be screenshotted and viewed by others outside of your current conversation.

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