The Most Reliable Parental Control App
FamiSafe lets parents control screen time, track real-time location and detect inappropriate content on kids' devices.
Ever since its launch, Snapchat has been a popular hit with teenagers. The social media app’s specialized filters and temporary messages feature have made teens fall in love with it.
However, thanks to the ‘Disappearing messages,’ Snapchat has also become a famous medium for sharing sensitive and inappropriate content leading to an activity called Snapchat sexting.
This is definitely concerning for parents as they want to keep their children safe from such practices, which is what we will be teaching in this article today.
Part 1: Sexting and Nudes are Flying in Snapchat
Sexting is no longer something confined to the adult world as teenagers as young as 13 years old are now engaging in this inappropriate exchange of messages. These messages can include sexual texts, photos, or even videos which can be damaging for both sending and receiving teenagers.
The problem is that these sexting examples are not limited to a few individuals. According to a recent study, up to 74% of American adults and 67% of international adults have revealed that they have engaged in sexting.
Moreover, teenagers are not far behind in this practice, as 27.4% (Click to see source in Forbes )of teens have confessed to being involved in sexting. This may not look like a significant number. However, a portion of these teenagers are below 18 and still sharing inappropriate content online.
Besides, the gradual increase in sexting can be attributed to the popularity of smartphones in the current day and age and how easy it is to access one.
Temporary messages encourage more nudes
Snapchat has this feature where messages disappear after a specific interval of time. This has led certain teens to believe that it’s safe to share sensitive content on the app. However, this is nothing more than a false sense of security as experts have argued whether these temporary ‘snaps’ are safe.
Snapchat Sexting is not safe
High-profile people have gotten their data hacked with sensitive messages and photos leaked to the general public. One recent example is that of Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, whose account got compromised, revealing lots of private data.
For the rest of us common people, the risk is certainly not that high. Moreover, there are ways of reducing it significantly. Nevertheless, sharing sensitive content on any social media app is never safe, and teenagers of this day and age should be warned against it.
Part 2: The results can be devastating
Although most teenagers and some parents don’t realize it, the results of sexting can be devastating. They can scar a teenager for life if sensitive data is leaked. Snapchat has placed some measures to stop this by sending a notification to the sender if a message is screenshotted.
However, that’s just about it. It simply alerts the user, but no restrictions are put in place to stop others from screenshotting inappropriate media completely.
Apart from this, below are some other reasons Snapchat sexting can land teenagers in hot waters.
Sextortion comes under the category of cybercrime. The criminal asks for sexual favors from the target while threatening to spread already acquired sensitive information online if the target fails to comply.
This extortion is not solely targeted to girls either, as boys also fall victim to this malicious crime. One way boys are lured is through fake accounts of attractive females.
Through these fake accounts, sensitive information on the person is obtained, and then favors can be demanded on the threat of releasing the sensitive information. Sextortion of this kind stretches far wider than Snapchat. It is embedded in other social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and even dating sites like Tinder.
The main problem of sextortion is that teenagers who fall victim to the crime often fall into severe depression. This is because the whole experience can be both terrifying and traumatizing. In contrast, more severe cases can even lead to suicide which is why parents need to intervene before the damage is done.
Danger 2Privacy leak may lead to real-life danger
Snapchat is already quite famous among teenagers, but it continues to grow as smartphones become more accessible than ever. The problem here is that even people under 18 are using the app as their daily communication medium.
Now using Snapchat solely for communication should pose no threats. Still, teenagers are actively sexting on it, and as we discussed earlier, Snapchat is no stranger to security breaches.
In 2013, an update about Snapchat vulnerabilities was published by Gibson Security. It was explained that the flaw could lead to a full-scale security breach.
A few months later, 4.2 million US users got their account hacked with complete details of their account compromised, such as usernames and numbers.
Now, if such a breach happens and teenagers below the age of 18 are involved, sensitive data will be shared online. This may attract real-life stalkers who may pose a physical or phycological danger to the teenager.
Step3Teens tend to go out and meet strangers
Nowadays, the excessive use of digital platforms has made its place creeping within the lives of children alongside schools, sleepovers, and other hobbies. As a result, it has become a space to build new friendships and make existing ones stronger.
Most parents can’t get this fact, but teens from Gen Z have plotted their entire lives digitally where they talk, fight, and laugh with their prominent people. Some of the teens are spending more time communicating through social media and online games than physically being present.
Back in the day, it was taboo to meet an online friend in person. However, in the current era of digitalization, almost every person growing with smartphones, and when social applications are hitting popularity, it's more open to breaking the taboos.
According to the latest research, 6 out of 10 people having a digital presence can affirm that they have met at least one of their online friends. Not only that but among those people, the one-third majority has also continued these in-person meeting sessions.
As Snapchat helps you to take a peek into other people’s routine life, you tend to admire their lifestyle, wanting to get that experience as well. With online dating applications like Tinder and open photo-sharing platforms like Snapchat, people are even finding their soulmates on the web.
While the controlling implications among teens are still vague, some researchers have warned that excessive online interaction can result in burdening youth, reflecting their parents as well.
Part 3: What parents should do?
Most teenagers are becoming more and more obsessed with Snapchat. The reason behind such excessive usage can be different features that aren’t being offered than any other application. 90% of teens having smartphones are using Snapchat, so there is a high chance that your child has it on their phone as well.
This application is quite flexible for all the operating systems giving endless features among which disappearing photos, i.e., snaps, stand out. These snaps are widely used for sexting to enhance visual appeal.
As Snapchat claims to offer privacy and security, you can’t guarantee that your child isn’t sexting or exchanging explicit media from strangers online. There are four different ways of protecting your children from falling into possible scams, frauds, or data breaches.
Method 1Online safety education (about privacy especially)
Snapchat provides a fun environment for children, especially teenagers. They find this application promising because it helps them keep a private conversation. All of the messages vanish after the user reads them, and the media disappears like it wasn’t there.
The fundamental dilemma for parents is how the children can use this feature for their will. That is why parents need to have a say on this matter and educate them about its impact.
As security plays a crucial role in maintaining an online presence, most teens aren’t well aware of this fact. In this matter, parents should step forward to teach them about safety guidelines that need to be maintained even if the application claims to offer complete security.
For example, while Snapchat notifies you whenever someone takes a screenshot or records the snap, still nothing is private on the web. So tell your children that if they don’t want their questionable pictures on different search engines around the web, then they might don’t share any on Snapchat as well.
Method 2Proper sex education
The next responsibility of the parents with digitally hypnotized children is to discuss sex education with them. Unfortunately, most children aren’t aware of the explicit part of our society that you have to tell before they contact an abuser.
Besides, suppose you want to open a medium of communication between you and your teens. In that case, such a discussion can be the way to go. You have to be honest and bring other topics that hint at trials of adolescence like relationships, alcohol, drugs, anxiety, public speaking, etc.
According to parent-children relationship experts, parents should be the first source providing any biological information to the kids.
So, it is beneficial to discuss sex at an early stage so that as your child grows, they’ll come to you readily if they face any threat. In addition, most kids get information or precisely some misinformation from friends at an early age. It will also help you avoid an awkward and uncomfortable session when your child hits puberty.
Method 3Monitoring app
Looking at the circumstances teens have to face on digital platforms, especially Snapchat, parents need to monitor their social accounts to avoid any explicit involvement. One of the best ways of tracking your child’s social activity is through WonderShare FamiSafe.
It is an online tool that has endless features and can be operated on all Android as well as iPhone devices. In addition, FamiSafe lately updates and supports text and pics detection on Snapchat.
It is entirely safe to use, securing all your data, media, and contacts. The extensive range of features includes geofencing, web filtering, screen limitations, and more. This tool is known to be excelling every other parenting application online in terms of compatibility and services.
Method 4More real-life engagement and supervision
As we have mentioned, teens are induced in their smartphones, giving all their time to games or social media apps. It would be wise to distract them from the 2D world and introduce them to reality. You can help them get a proper and permanent hobby according to their interest.
Try giving them this break for at least 4 to 5 hours a day. You can invite them to make dinner, do baking, or do household chores as well. This way, they’ll get a chance to explore the fun part of the world without looking at it through the eyes of their smartphones.
Most children go towards digital media as a distraction from the lack of attention given by parents. They find that love and attention within strangers can lead them into the wrong hands. So, it is the parent’s responsibility to guide them and be there for them.
1. Why do people do Snapchat sexting?
People do Snapchat sexting for a number of reasons. Generally, people sext when they are interested in someone, but not enough just to come out and ask. The sext is the first step to take before they take the relationship further. Sexting, in a way, is the modern-day equivalent of writing love letters.
2. Can sexting lead to any harm?
Yes, if a person shares explicit images of themselves, then there is a possibility that the content could be leaked and lead to sextortion or blackmail. It could be incredibly concerning for a parent. For this reason, they should use FamiSafe to keep tabs on their child’s Snapchat messaging history.
The children of today are in love with Snapchat, and the popularity is not going to die anytime soon. So it’s up to parents to make sure their children are safely using the app through techniques involving proper sex education, more real-life engagements, and effective third-party apps such as Wondershare FamiSafe.