Snapchat installed a nifty new Snap Map that shows a user’s location with incredible accuracy.
But parents beware — the feature increases the chances that a total stranger can know where your child is at any given time.
WATCH: What you need to know about the Snapchat update
Many adults raved on social media about the feature, which connects users to friends, allows them to explore worldwide major events and share their current location — nice, if it’s someplace really cool like Coachella.
The feature, however, doesn’t just pinpoint a general location of a user but a spot within a stone’s toss of where the person is. Safety advocates aren’t digging that. (Snapchat’s minimum age is 13, according to its parents guide.) Facebook Messenger released a similar service in March, but that location-sharing service only allows users to share their location with friends or a group for up to an hour, according to USA Today.
“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,” said Childnet International, a children’s internet safety advocacy group.
Steps to protect your child
- The Snap Map feature is enabled by a user from the camera screen. A user pinches in or zooms out and Snap Map will open.
- The feature then allows users to opt out of the feature by putting themselves in “Ghost Mode.” Ghost Mode means the user is the only person who can see his or her location on a map. Users can still see the location of their friends, but they won’t be able to see you.
- Another option is “My Friends” mode, which means that all contacts on Snapchat can see the user’s location.
- “Select Friends” modes allows user to look through their friend list and then decide which of their friends to view their location.
Childnet International says sharing location with anyone is risky.
“Location services such as Snap Maps can lead people to your house,” Childnet International wrote in its blog.