New “Snap Map” feature raises concerns

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — From using the popular puppy filter to taking a selfie with a friend, there are many ways to share your memories on Snapchat. But, as always, you want to make sure you are sharing safely.

“You want to make sure that your child or young person is protected and often they don’t understand the implications of allowing everything about themselves be known to the general public,” Gerry Long, the WSAV crime expert, said.

Here’s how the app works: Once you’re in the app pinch your fingers together on the screen and zoom in. You can see your exact location and where your friends are.

“Where your home is, where you might work, where you go to school and these applications and these outlets allow people to know that,” Long said.

You can limit which friends see your location, but if you don’t then everyone on your friend list can see where you are.

Even though there are perks to this new feature, like being able to look at what’s going on around the world, it also makes the user vulnerable.

“They don’t know these 2,000 people that they have befriended on any social applications,” Long said. “Pedophiles are known to troll social media sites particularly and certainly don’t want that to be the only consideration.”

There is a way to turn off your location, just go to your settings in the top right-hand corner and select “Ghost Mode.”

Only you will be able to see where you are and it will take you off of the grid.

“Parents have to be aware of the changes in the applications their children and young teens are using and have ongoing discussions about what is acceptable and what’s not acceptable and what could be dangerous for their child,” Long said.

This map feature will only work if your Snapchat is up-to-date.

And don’t forget, if you’ve shared your snap names on other sites like Bumble or Tinder you may want to be careful who follows you on Snapchat.

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