As a parent, it's important to understand the Snapchat parental controls. This popular app can be a great way for kids to communicate with friends, but it also has some risks that parents need to be aware of.
In this blog post, we'll discuss Snapchat parental controls and how to take advantage of them, along with potential dangers to be aware of when kids are using Snapchat.
If you’d like to know more information about Snapchat, check out our Parents guide to Snapchat.
What are the different parental controls on Snapchat?
There is a range of parental controls on Snapchat that parents can take advantage of to help keep their kids safe.
- Curating the Discover page: Parents can go to the Discover page and block undesired media outlets.
- Controlling who sees your child's location: Snapchat gives parents the ability to customise this.
- Monitoring the contact list: Parents can track who their child's contacts are and whether any are suspicious.
- Controlling who can send Snaps: By default, anyone can send Snaps to a user. However, parents can change this setting so that only people on their child's contact list can send them Snaps.
- Viewing Snapchat activity: While there is no official way for parents to monitor Snapchat activity, there are third-party parental control apps that can help you be aware of any potentially harmful interactions.
Snapchat term glossary
To help you navigate Snapchat's many features, we've compiled a list of common terms and their definitions.
- Story: A story is a collection of images and videos shared with friends. Stories can be public or private, and they disappear after 24 hours.
- Snap: A Snap is an image or video sent to friends on Snapchat. Snaps can be public or private, and they disappear after they have been viewed by all recipients.
- Filter: A filter is a special effect you can add to images and videos. Filters can change appearance, add text or graphics, and even track location.
- Geofilter: A geofilter is a special kind of filter that can only be used in certain locations. Geofilters are often used to show locations, events, or holidays.
- Lens: A lens is a special effect you can add to images and videos. Lenses can change appearance, add text or graphics, and even track location.
- Snapcode: A Snapcode is a special image you can scan to do different things, including adding friends on Snapchat, linking to websites, or connecting to content. Snapcodes can be found on profiles, websites, and other devices.
- Trophy case: The trophy case is a feature that keeps track of achievements. Users earn trophies by completing certain tasks, such as taking a certain number of snaps or adding a certain number of friends.
How to set privacy settings
One of the most important things you can do to keep your child safe on Snapchat is to implement privacy settings. To do this:
- Open the app and go to the Settings menu.
- Then, scroll down to the Privacy section and tap on Who Can.
- From here, you can change who can see your child's stories, who can send them Snaps, and who can see their location. You can also choose to turn off location sharing altogether.
How to block someone
There are two ways to block someone on Snapchat – either from the chat history or from the friends list.
To block someone from chat history:
- Open Snapchat and tap Chat in the bottom left-hand corner.
- Choose who you want to block by tapping and holding down on their name.
- Tap More, then tap Block.
- Confirm you want to block the person by tapping Block again.
To block someone from a friends list:
- Tap the user's icon in the top left-hand corner, then tap My Friends.
- Confirm the user and hold down on the person’s name until the Block option pops up.
- Select Block.
Blocking someone on Snapchat will prevent them from being able to send Snaps or chat, and they'll also be removed from the friends list. If you want to unblock someone, you can do so from the Snapchat Settings menu.
How to block content on Discover
There is no way to disable the Snapchat Discover page completely, but there are ways to limit the content that young people see on it by doing the following:
- Go to the Discover page and swipe right.
- From there, tap on Subscriptions and then toggle off any undesired media outlets.
- You can also tap on the names of unwanted media outlets to make sure they don't appear again.
To take further control of what appears on the Discover page:
- Tap on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner and then select Manage Subscriptions and Notifications.
- From there, you can edit what appears on the page by tapping on Select Interests. This will allow you to choose content categories that appear in the Discover feed.
How to turn off location sharing
The Snapchat app for iPhone and Android devices allows you to control who can see your location. Enable Ghost Mode so no one can see your child's location by going to the My Location section in the Settings menu. There are also options for allowing friends or specific friends to see the user's location and to choose the duration of Ghost Mode.
What are the parental concerns with Snapchat?
Many kids enjoy Snapchat, but there are a few issues that may concern parents.
- Snapchat can be used to send inappropriate images and videos: Snapchat users can send material that disappears after a certain amount of time, and some kids might send inappropriate content.
- Snapchat can be used for cyberbullying: If your child is being bullied on Snapchat, they may not feel like they can come to you because the messages will disappear.
- Users can add strangers to their friends list: If you're not aware of who your child is adding, they could be communicating with someone who is potentially dangerous.
- There's no way to monitor Snapchat activity: Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat has no feature for parents to track how it's used. This means you'll need to rely on your child being honest with you about what they're doing on the app.
- Location sharing: Another hazard with Snapchat is that users can share their location. If your child adds a stranger to their friends list, that stranger could potentially find out where they live.
If you prefer that your children don't use Snapchat at all, there are iPhone and iPad parental controls that can limit which apps can be downloaded and used.
Find out more about GoHenry’s parental controls
If your child has a prepaid kids' debit card with GoHenry, you’ll get updates whenever your child uses their card and an alert if it's ever declined - giving you total peace of mind.
You can also decide where and how much kids can spend and use your parent app to add or change the settings easily.