Online Safety Tips: ‘Snap Maps’ in Snapchat

The Childnet International website has published a short article about the new Snap Map feature within Snapchat. Some of it is reproduced below, but the full article can be accessed here.

Some of the downsides to location features are also highlighted on the recent Barclays TV advert, which shows some of the dangers that can happen when details are shared online. It is always worth thinking carefully about the amount of information we share with others online and considering who can see the things we post.

Recently, Snapchat introduced a new feature, the ‘Snap Map’.

This location-based map allows users to see where in the country their Snapchat contacts are, as well as seeing location-based photos and videos. The Snap Map shows a user’s Bitmoji, their cartoon avatar within Snapchat, pinpointed on a world map. Users can then zoom into the map to see the exact location of their friends.

How to access Snap Maps

To access the Snap Map in the latest update of the Snapchat app, users need to go to their camera screen within Snapchat and zoom out using two fingers. This will then launch the Snap Maps screen and will allow a user to see their friend’s locations.

Choose who can see your location

It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.

Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat – giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map – we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.

There are three settings for sharing your location on the map, these are; Ghost mode, My Friends, and Select Friends. But what do these settings mean?

  • Ghost Mode
    Ghost Mode means that you are the only person who can see your location on the map.Within Ghost Mode you can still see the locations of your friends but they will be unable to see you. This setting will ensure that you have complete control over who knows your location.
  • My Friends
    My Friends means that all of your contacts on Snapchat can see your location. If turning on this setting then it would be important for users to review their Snapchat contacts and also make sure that they never add someone they don’t know in person onto Snapchat.
  • Select Friends
    This setting allows users to look through their friend list and then decide which of their friends they want to be able to view their location. This setting gives users the opportunity to control who can view their location.

Please let us know in the comments below if this post has been helpful to you and your family.

Mr Pitts currently teaches Computing to the whole school along with some other subjects during teacher's PPA time. He runs this website and makes sure it all works smoothly, most of the time!