Kids today are more than apt in handling their presence on different social media platforms, be it – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or Snapchat. With camera phones being the ‘normal,’ it’s only natural that pictures and videos are the most common format to share content.
However, the perils of the social network are also its invasion of personal space. Cyberbullying is an immediate threat to a child’s wellbeing and parents need to stay vigilant about what children are hiding between the apps.
As parents, you have to be ahead of your children when it comes to technology, and shield them from harmful experiences. It’s also necessary that children are educated about the good and the bad of the online world, so they can explore that space responsibly.
Keeping that in mind, we want to talk to you about Snapchat child safety that remains a concern especially with adolescent and teenage kids. Especially now that the school holidays are approaching and most children will likely be glued to their phones.
The feature in question is something of a hidden vault on the app and is called “My Eyes Only.”
‘My Eyes Only’ Feature On Snapchat: What Parents Must Know
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In 2016, Snapchat released a special feature that allowed users to store their snaps (pictures or short videos posted online for a brief period.
The feature allows users to hide these snaps which can only be accessed by them. It also comes with a lockable option that will require a password to see what’s inside.
Now, this feature may seem like a hidden treasure box for most users, but parents need to be concerned about what their children are hiding there. If your child uses this feature with password protection, odds are they have something to hide.
This does open the pandora’s box when it comes to the possibility of nudes or adult content being shared on the social media platform. It also puts your child’s life under threat, consequences of which they may not understand at this point.
How To Check If My Child Has Enabled My Eyes Only?
The ‘My Eyes Only’ feature can be accessed only on the mobile app. You will need access to your child’s phone to check the same. Here’s how you do it:
Open the Snapchat app
Click on the little icon that looks like two pictures to the left of the record button
Click on the far right tab that read ‘My Eyes Only.’
If the tab immediately opens to the camera roll with images, your child does not have a password in place and you have access to their saved content. However, in the case of a password, the app will show a keypad asking for the same.
Do I Confront My Child About ‘My Eyes Only?’
Parents may feel enraged and even embarrassed to find this feature on their child’s phone. More so, if it’s active and locked with a password.
However, it’s necessary that you have an open conversation with your child about Snapchat child safety and how it can be dangerous to share questionable content on a public platform.
So, yes, you should confront your child about the reasons for enabling this feature. But instead of making it a yelling match, you will have to calm and deal with it tactfully. The idea is to educate your child and not scare them away.
You also do have the option to delete your child’s account, should you see anything fishy. If someone harasses your child or shares their photos without permission, you could report abuse by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to delete your child’s Snapchat account you could do it at http://www.snapchat.com/a/delete_account.
However, you would need your child’s Snapchat user name and password. If your child is doesn’t give you this, send a deletion request to http://www.snapchat.com/static_files/deletion_request.pdf.
4 Things To Talk Your Kid About Social Media Platforms
Not just Snapchat child safety, but your kid needs to be aware of the pitfalls of having an online presence and the responsible use of the internet. Here’s how you can prepare your child to be safe from predators and even themselves.
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1. Speak to them at a young age
Children know and understand about social media today from an early age even before they have access to their own phones and accounts. That’s why you need to speak to them about how it works and what’ll you can share on the same.
Also, make sure to have a conversation about the internet at large – the kinds of opportunities it offers, learning experiences, games, and more.
2. Ask your child about the apps they use
Keep the conversation about their internet usage casual. Ask your child about the kind of apps and websites they use and why they do so. If you don’t understand something, take a minute and ask your child about it.
They probably have a clearer idea about the same and why they choose to be on it.
3. Privacy settings
All social media platforms accept users from the age of 13 years and above. However, some children may choose to sign up earlier with or without your knowledge. That’s why make sure to speak to your children about the privacy settings on different platforms.
Tell them about the information that needs to stay private and the process to report/block inappropriate content. It’s also important to speak to your children about NOT seeking validation on social media or blindly trusting influencers on different platforms.
4. Talk about cyberbullying
Much like the real-life, cyberbullying is a grave concern in the virtual world. On several occasions, it also spills over the screen into your child’s life. If your child is being harassed, you need to know about it and be able to do something about it as well.
Make sure you keep the room open for them to talk to you about such things. Help them understand that they are responsible for their posts online. This is particularly true for sharing content that may be deemed as racist, misogynistic, or simply tone-deaf.
Social media can be a great space to learn, grow and create, as long as it is used responsibly.