SnapChat's "Snap Maps" Can Locate Anyone In Real Time, But Users Are Warned On Its Potential Safety Woes

Technology > Security

Many mobile apps these days enable its users to share their location. In fact, Facebook and its Messenger app, Twitter, and Instagram allows for the tagging of users' locations in their messages, posts, and photos. However, it is alarming that sometimes, children and even their parents are not aware of the potential dangers of location-sharing. 

Just recently, SnapChat released a map feature that lets users track each other's exact location in real time. Its new feature, Snap Maps, puts users and their photos onto the in-app map where other SnapChat users can track where they are anytime. When users activate the feature for the first time, they can either make their location visible to all their friends, to selected friends only, or set it in "ghost mode", where one's location cannot be tracked. 

In the light of the latest SnapChat feature, CyberSafeIreland Cliona Curley warned parents not to let their children give away personal information online, including their location, name, and age. "It's very easy for adults with a sexual interest in children to find them online and correspond with them", Curley said.

To avoid these dangers, Curley advised parents to keep track of their children's social media contacts and friends, and the kind of social media apps they use. If their kids are using SnapChat, parents must ensure that they are using the ghost mode.

To access the map in the app, users can pinch to zoom out on the home screen. This will bring up a map of the user’s local area.

To turn the location tracker off, users can head back into the map section of the app and click on the top right corner of the screen, where they can se an option to select "ghost mode."


Photo By: Mih83 / Pixabay