There’s a laundry list of worries parents have about their teens and, for many of us, internet safety is a pretty high bullet point. Who are your kids talking to? What sort of people on the internet might be trying to communicate with them? How can you make sure they’re browsing safely without disturbing their privacy?
Snapchat just released a feature that can help answer many of those nagging questions. Dubbed Family Center, the new addition to the app allows parents to see everyone their teen is communicating with. Adults will not be able to view the content of the messages but can take comfort in knowing exactly who’s in their child’s day-to-day life. If there’s any account a parent is concerned about, they’re able to confidently report it to Snapchat.
“Beyond the friend list, parents get to see everyone their teen is actually communicating with – sending Snaps to or receiving Snaps from, calling, or messaging with – over the previous 7 days, whether it be those they frequently communicate with or names that have never popped up before,” a press release about the new feature explained.
Family Center’s design is all about walking the fine line between keeping parents happy and teens happy. “Our goal was to create a set of tools designed to reflect the dynamics of real-world relationships and foster collaboration and trust between parents and teens,” Snapchat’s statement explained. In the Fall, the app will be adding a new addition, which will feature content controls and the ability for teens to alert their parents when they report an account.
The sign-up process is simple. Parents can create an account through the Family Center and send a request to their child. Once that request is accepted, parents will have access to that friend list. You can find a how-to video below:
If you’re looking for more ways to keep your kids safe and mentally well while they’re using Snapchat, the app offered a list of some key reminders. A few stand-outs:
- Snapchat has partnered with Crisis Text Line, for free, 24/7 service. Users can text KIND to 741741 to chat with a live, trained crisis counselor.
- The app was designed specifically for kids 13 and older.
- Any bullying snaps should be reported to Snapchat. Users can also block the person or leave any group chat.
- Users can subscribe to Safety Snapshot, which “increase[s] digital literacy and educate Snapchatters about safety and privacy tips and tricks.”
- See something inappropriate on Discover? Press and hold on the Snap, and hit the ‘Report Snap’ button.
Feeling safe and secure when it comes to your kids using social media is certainly no easy task. Hopefully this new feature offers parents a little more peace of mind.
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