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Police warn of dangers for young users on Snapchat

CTV News with Aimée Morrison 31 May 2019

Waterloo Regional Police are reminding parents of young social media users to proceed with caution.

The local authorities say that the app Snapchat can be particularly troublesome.

While it seems like pictures, videos, and messages disappear after they’re viewed on the app, that’s not always the case.

“If you wouldn’t want to see this on the front page of the internet, don’t put it on Snapchat,” says social media expert Aimee Morrison. “There’s really no way to control the circulation.”

Morrison points out Snapchat’s location tracking, screen capture feature, and addictive format as reasons children under the age of 13 should not have an account.

“Since Facebook is the main social media site that adults congregate to, young people think they don’t know what it is, it’s private, and doesn’t matter,” she said. “But Snap[chat] is still a public social network that can have consequences.”

Parent Karen Buschert touts common sense to her children when it comes to their presences online.

“You just have to be cautious with anything you think is odd or strange and don’t be too forthcoming with your information,” she said.

The Waterloo Regional Police Twitter account says they had seen a number of cases involving Snapchat in KW.

They advise parents to review privacy, location, and contacts with young users.

“I would not be making Snapchat friends outside of my immediate circle,” said Morrison.