Snapchat Guide

WHAT DOES MY TEEN NEED TO KNOW ABOUT USING SNAPCHAT?

We encourage all users to take an active role in protecting their privacy and safety, and to help others by practicing good digital citizenship.

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PRIVACY

In order to message someone on Snapchat, you need to know their username and add them to your “My Friends” list.

Snapchat’s “Find My Friends” feature allows users to look up their friends’ usernames by uploading the phone numbers in their device’s address book and searching for accounts that match those numbers.

You can configure Snapchat to only  accept messages from users on your “My Friends” list. To change this, go to the settings menu in the application, select “Who can send me snaps...”, then select “My Friends” instead of “Everyone.”

To block a user, tap the Menu icon, select “My Friends,” locate their name in the list and swipe right across their name (or in Android, long-press the name). Press “Edit” and then “Block.” If you would like to delete a friend from your contacts, press “Delete.” Even if you haven’t added the user as a friend, their name will still appear in the “My Friends” list under “Recent” if they have sent you a message recently.

SAFETY

Under no circumstances is it okay to create, send, receive, or save a sexually explicit image of a minor. It does not matter what the purpose or motive is, the willingness of the participants or the age of the recipient. Even a self-portrait can be considered a serious crime and may be a felony in the United States. It is extremely important that Snapchat not be used in this manner and parents are strongly encouraged to educate their minor children on this subject. If you have knowledge of, or are in possession of, a sexually explicit image of a minor; contact your local law enforcement for assistance

and contact Snapchat to let us know (see below for details).

It is illegal in the United States to send a sexually explicit image to a minor or for an adult to sexually solicit a minor; any such incidents should be reported  to your local law enforcement and to Snapchat (see below for details).

Advise your teen on the warning signs of someone pressuring them, pushing their boundaries or doing things that make them uncomfortable. Let your teen know who the adults are in their life that they can confide in.

Although Snapchat messages are designed to disappear in 10 seconds or less, there is no guarantee that the recipient won’t take a picture of the message using the “screenshot” feature of their phone or by taking a picture with a camera.

Snapchat attempts to detect when recipients take a screenshot and sends a notification to the sender, but  even this is not fool- proof.

As with any online service, one should always “Think Before You Send” and consider the trustworthiness of the intended recipient(s) before choosing to share an image or video with them—if it’s too sensitive to risk someone else seeing it, then it shouldn’t be sent!

If you receive a bullying, abusive or otherwise unwanted message, do not respond to it—responding may encourage further messages. Instead, you should block the user and/or change your privacy settings to prevent future contact from the individual (see ‘Privacy’ section above). If you believe the sender’s behavior is unlawful, contact your local law enforcement for assistance.

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP

Help others. Check in with your friends who use Snapchat and make sure that they know about the privacy settings and safety information.

Think before you send. How will your message make the other person feel? Would you be upset, embarrassed or get in

trouble if they showed it to someone else? If you feel like you’re taking a risk or doing something that makes you even a little bit uncomfortable—stop what you’re doing and don’t send the message.

Have fun.

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Snapchat is supposed to be fun, if you’re nothaving fun or if you’re ruining someone else’s fun, you’re doing it wrong and you should re-think what you’re doing.