Snap Maps lets users track each other’s movements in real time, but child safety groups and schools like BCHS with Crosshill are cautioning young people against sharing their location.
Snap Maps plots users and their snaps onto a map so other Snapchatters can see where they are and what they are doing.
When they first use the feature, users can select whether they want to make their location visible to all of their friends, a select group of connections or to no one at all, which Snapchat refers to as “ghost mode”.
The new feature has raised concerns among safety experts who fear it could be used to stalk or bully others.
“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 child safety group Childnet International.
“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.”
“Parents need to sit down with their kids and get them to really consider which friends they are sharing with,” added Larry Magid, the CEO of ConnectSafely.org.
“Users should be aware of the feature and review it periodically – if a friend becomes an ex-friend, for example.”
Surrey Police has warned that the app’s new Snap Maps feature could be putting you at risk: “We recommend changing to ghost mode to avoid sharing your location. To change pinch the screen and tap settings.”
How to turn on ‘Ghost Mode’
- Using the newest update of Snapchat, while you are on camera mode, pinch the screen or try zooming in and out.
- This will take you to the Snap Maps feature where you should be able to see yourself.
- Click on the Settings cog and switch on “Ghost Mode” which will hide your location from other people.
- Your face should now be blurred out when you look at Snap Maps.