Every October, students participate in Digital Citizenship lessons which include a variety of topics including online privacy/security, copyright and fair use, and digital footprints.  As a result of these lessons, a group of Three Village students has prepared the following information regarding the popular Snapchat app to assist other students, parents and community members to be safe online. Snapchat added a new feature in June that allows users to be geographically located and tracked, called Snapmap.

Snapchat is a very popular, yet potentially dangerous, social media platform. It is an alternative smartphone messaging app that is particularly popular amongst teens. The creators of Snapchat recently released a new feature called the “Snapmap”, which enables Snapchat users to see what their friends are up to, and what is happening nearby.  Although this feature is meant to be a fun way of connecting with friends, it has recently been used inappropriately by some users to stalk and bully others.  It is recommended that you have your children turn on “Ghost Mode,” which is a safer alternative to this new addition. ¨Ghost Mode¨ is a function paired with the Snapmap that allows you to make yourself hidden from other users.  

To get to the Snapmap, you must make a pinching motion with two fingers on the screen.  After you get to the Snapmap, in order to turn on Ghost Mode, go to the settings option in the top right corner. The first option in map settings says “Ghost Mode.” When you switch this option on, it enables Ghost Mode, making you invisible to all other users using Snapchat. 

Additional information regarding this feature can be found in this article. - https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/23/15864552/snapchat-snap-map-privacy-threat