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Snapchat the False Privacy Promise for your Teenagers

Snapchat the False Privacy Promise for your Teenagers

Snapchat is the App of the moment, and Teenagers like it:

  • It’s visual by design
  • It’s fast and easy to use
  • Its messages disappear after they’ve been seen by the receiver

The last was the killing feature that made Snapchat so famous among Teenagers.

The same killing feature that gave us so many Cyberbullying and Revenge Porn troubles.

Snapchat and the Privacy Promise

Snapchat had been sponsored as the messaging App where your messages are deleted after heaving been visualized by the receiver.

Let’s see how…

We have two features to consider: the Direct Messaging feature and the Story feature. Snaps behave differently according to the feature you are using for that snap.

The Direct Messaging feature (you send a snap to an individual contact or a group of contacts where each one is considered as individual):

  • Video: the receiver is allowed to watch it only twice, the it disappears from the App

  • Picture: the sender sets a time that ranges from 1 to 10 seconds. After the receiver opens the picture, it disappears after that amount of time from the receiver’s device, but the receiver is allowed to save it within the App

  • Text/voice messages: they disappear after the reading, but the receiver is allowed to save it within the App

The Story feature:

  • Here you are allowed to share pictures and videos

  • They are deleted after 24 hours, so people are allowed to watch them anytime they wish within the 24 hours

People are allowed to screenshot a snap, and the sender will be notified of it and will be able to see who made the screenshot.

So far so good, and your Children are sure they are safe about their snaps. They believe they can Sexting while staying safe because their hot snaps are deleted after a small amount of time.

And if the receiver screenshots a snap, they are notified of it.

At least they believe it, as the devil lies in the (tech) detail.

How you can keep a Snapchat message without letting the sender knowing it

As every digital invention, there are some workarounds to jump over the developers restrictions.

As Adults, we have to make our Children aware of them to help them stay safe in the ghostly Digital World.

Let’s see some of these workarounds:

  • You can take a picture of a snap with another smartphone or camera: that way you have a new external picture you can use however you want without technical limitations

  • Just go to your device’s Store and download any of the (unofficial) Snapchat Apps that connect to your Snapchat account and let you save the snaps you receive…without the sender’s knowledge

  • The snaps you received are stored in a folder inside your device and deleted after the view: simply connect your device to a computer, go inside and find that folder…and the snaps stored in it. It works only before the view

  • Though the snaps you receive are deleted from your device, the App has a cache folder, where snaps are temporarily stored in order to be recovered faster and make the App more reactive. The files stored in this folder are overwritten as new content is stored there…but until then they are still recoverable by connecting the device to a computer and navigating inside the device with a good file explorer

As you can see Snapchat doesn’t guarantee your Children privacy at all, along their safety.

Should you forbid Snapchat to your Children?

Of course not. Snapchat is just a tool, and if you forbid it to your Children, they will easily move to another App: there is such a great offer in the Stores!

In my professional experience, I noticed a curious and funny thing: Teenagers went crazy about their Privacy after I showed them how their contents would be used by iPredators.

So this is the point: our Children are very sensitive about their Privacy…after you explain them the Cyber Threats they may experience if they don’t take the topic for serious.

You may be tempted to force your Kids to delete the App for their safety. I tell you to go the opposite way: install the App and start using it so that you will understand it for real (I wrote about how you can use Snapchat to improve your relationship with your Children HERE).

Then you show your sons and daughters the many ways other people are able to store your Kids snaps and how these iPredators may use them.

Snapchat is an App designed for Teenagers, so it’s very difficult to understand to Adults.

So you can add me there: this way we’ll stay in touch and you’ll be able to ask me whatever you need.

Here how you find me on Snapchat:

  • Install the App on your device

  • Create your account

Then you have 3 options:

  • Add me by username: search for ivan_psy (yes: there is an underscore!)

  • From your device tap this link and you’ll be redirected to my Snapchat account: https://www.snapchat.com/add/ivan_psy

  • From the App, add me by snapcode and point your device to the snapcode below (it’s like a QRcode, but for Snapchat) Snapchat Avatar ivan_psy



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