Snapchat Parental Controls: How to Monitor Snapchat Activity and Keep Your Kids Safe
Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Ian McEwan
Snapchat has become very popular among kids these days because of its wide variety of fun selfie filters and effects. However, little do you know that Snapchat also has a messaging feature that allows users to send Snaps and post Stories online where your kids can interact with people whom you may not even know. Now, if your kids are being secretive about their use of Snapchat, you may start to worry about their safety as child predators have become widespread all over the internet.
In this article, we will explore the dark side of Snapchat and discuss various strategies and tools that parents can use to monitor their children's activity on the app without compromising their trust or privacy.
Snapchat is not a safe place for everyone
1. “Snapchat is Unsafe for Children - the image-sharing app brought out the worst in humanity”
The online jungle is vast and there are predators everywhere that you should be wary of. At a young age, children are very vulnerable and have no idea of what danger could happen to them while using Snapchat. Your kids may become the next prey, and as a parent, you must always ensure their safety in both the real and the virtual world.
Cyberbullying is dominant on Snapchat. Bullies will try to harm your kid with sharp words and destroy their confidence until they are broken down. Some victims of cyberbullying end up being depressed and have taken their own life. It sounds horrible but it's happening to a lot of kids.
According to a new study by Snap, two out of every three teenagers - and the majority are males- have been targeted by sextortion schemes, which involve criminals using sexually explicit images or videos to extort money, more sexual imagery, personal information, or other forms of payment from their victims.
The study also found that 36% of those targeted by sextortion schemes were under the age of 16. The report highlights the need for increased education and awareness around online safety and encourages teenagers to speak to a trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable or threatened online.
But what if they don’t?
Stalkers are waiting for the right time to threaten your children, making them feel unsafe and even harassed. Creeps who keep on liking your child’s pictures, keep on sending them weird or illicit messages and constantly comment on your child’s wall all the time are targeting your children.
2. “Snap Map is about to make your kids being stalked so much easier”
Snap Map, a feature in Snapchat that allows users to share their precise location with friends, can also be exploited by predators and stalkers, making it easier for them to track and target children and teenagers.
Although it has built-in privacy controls to help users manage their location sharing, like Ghost Mode, which hides their location from others, to prevent unwanted tracking, many users may not fully understand the risks associated with location sharing or may not know how to use them effectively.
3. “Snapchat’s new ‘My AI’ chatbot could be dangerous for children”
Snapchat's new AI chatbot, My AI, which was recently rolled out to all Snapchat users, has been met with concerns from parents and experts who worry that it could be dangerous for children.
The chatbot is powered by ChatGPT, an AI tool that uses artificial intelligence to simulate human-like conversations.
Snapchat's My AI chatbot is designed to be a friend to users, but it has been shown to be capable of giving inappropriate and unsafe responses to questions. For example, in one test, the chatbot was asked about alcohol and sex, and it gave responses that were sexually suggestive and could be harmful to children.
Parents are urged to educate their children about best practices for communicating with AI and to establish clear boundaries and guidelines for social media use.
4. “Snapchat may have negative effects on mental and relational health”
There have been several studies that suggest that frequent use of social media, including Snapchat, can have a negative impact on young people's mental health and romantic relationships.
One study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that the use of Snapchat was associated with lower levels of relationship satisfaction and higher levels of anxiety and depression among young people. The study authors suggest that Snapchat's ephemeral nature may contribute to feelings of insecurity and uncertainty in romantic relationships.
Another study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that excessive social media use, including Snapchat, was associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety in young people. The study authors suggest that the constant comparison to others on social media can contribute to negative self-evaluations and feelings of inadequacy.
Imagine these things happening to your children. These possible situations are both horrifying and heartbreaking, which is why parents must learn how to set up Snapchat parental control.
Parental control apps are designed to help parents monitor their children's online activities. These apps can track a child's Snapchat usage, including the messages they send and receive, the photos and videos they share, and the friends they add. One of the most popular parental control app for monitoring Snapchat is mSpy.
mSpy is a comprehensive parental control app that allows parents to monitor their children's Snapchat activity. The app is designed to be discreet and respects the child's privacy while still providing valuable insights for parents. Because of the stealth mode of mSpy, the app can work in the background, so your child won't know that they're being monitored.
mSpy helps parents keep an eye on their children's online activities, including:
Get started with mSpy for Snapchat Parental Controls in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1. Create an account
To enjoy mSpy's myriad of useful features, you will have to create an account first. Just click the button below to sign up.
Step 2. Setting Up mSpy
After creating an account, select the type of device. Then you will receive an email from mSpy containing all the requirements along with the installation guide.
Follow the guide to set up mSpy on your target’s device.
Step 3: Start monitoring your kid’s Snapchat
Go to the link sent to your email to access the mSpy Control Panel and log in with the username and password that can also be found in your email.
After that, click on the Social Spotlight button and select Snapchat. From here, you will see a clearer view of your child’s Snapchat activities on their mobile.
That’s how easy and convenient it is to use mSpy. So grab this wonderful tool now and start to monitor Snapchat.
In addition to using parental control apps like mSpy, there are other supportive measures that parents can take to monitor their child's Snapchat activity.
Enable Snapchat Parental Controls features
Snapchat’s built-in Parental Controls features will let your kids set the audience and the people who are allowed to contact them. They may use these features to report any malicious or inappropriate content on Snapchat. Below are some steps that you can follow to protect your child.
On who can contact your kid:
- Tap the profile page of your kids’ Snapchat.
- Hit the Settings icon.
- Select Contact Me.
- Choose “My Friends”.
On who can view your kids’ Stories:
- Tap on View My Story.
- Select My Friends.
On being suggested as friend to other users:
- Go to your kid’s profile.
- Tap on the Settings icon.
- In Quick Add, tap on See M.
- Uncheck the option.
On making your child’s location private:
- Go to your kid’s profile page.
- Tap on the Settings icon.
- Proceed to See My Location.
- Check the Ghost Mode setting.
On preventing people from finding your kid’s profile on Snapchat:
- Go to profile.
- Tap on the Settings icon.
- Hit the Mobile Number.
- Uncheck “Lets others find me using my number”.
On reporting inappropriate and malicious content on Snapchat
- Tap and hold the Snapchat post in question until a flag icon appears on the screen.
- Select the flag icon and choose which report option you want to make.
Snapchat’s Family Centre
Snapchat's Family Center is a resource for parents that allows parents to see who their teens are friends with on Snapchat, and who they have been communicating with. It also allows parents to limit their teen's ability to view certain content in the Stories and Spotlight tabs, and to easily and confidentially report any accounts they may be concerned about directly to Snap's Trust and Safety team.
To use Family Center, parents need to have their own Snapchat account and be added as a friend to their teen's account. Once they are added, they can open Family Center and start using the features.
It is important to note that Family Center does not allow parents to see the actual contents of their teen's conversations. So, if you need to do so, you may need the help of Snapchat Monitoring Apps like mSpy.
As a parent, you are the one responsible for your children’s safety as you are also the one who provided them with the means to access the internet and use social media apps like Snapchat. Thus, it is important to have precautionary measures like Snapchat parental controls to prevent irreversible damage to your children’s minds and souls.
Enabling parental controls and using mSpy to keep track are only two of many ways to protect your child. You may also consider using such services to block certain sites that contain obscene videos like pornography from your kid’s devices. Here's how to block porn.
- Tasha R. Dunn., & Michael R. Langlais. (2020). “Oh, Snap!”: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Analyzing the Dark Side of Snapchat. The Journal of Social Media In Society.
- Kwon, M., & Lee, J. Y. (2018). Cyberbullying experiences and their relation to emotional problems and aggression in Korean adolescents. Journal of school violence, 17(2), 184-197.
- Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S., & Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 49(4), 376-385.
- Rosen, L. D., Whaling, K., Rab, S., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Is Facebook creating “iDisorders”? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and technology use, attitudes and anxiety. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 1243-1254.
- Pantic, I. (2014). Online social networking and mental health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(10), 652-657.
Yes. If they are of minor age and they are living under your roof, you are considered their guardian, and it is your responsibility to keep them safe from any form of harm as much as possible. It can be your best shot to set up Snapchat parental controls.
No, if you are only doing it for their safety. Being a parent is difficult as you have to make tough decisions from time to time-- so long as you don’t harm your children by spying on them, it will be just fine. However, it is better to discuss things like this with your children to build more trust in the family.