If you’re a parent of a teen, chances are your child uses Snapchat, the popular social media mobile application that allows users to easily communicate with each other through disappearing pictures and unique chat features. While the app provides a fun way of instant messaging, its safety is frequently debated.
The company recently launched a new feature called “Snap Map,” which allows users to track the physical location of their friends within the app. To activate Snap Map, a user must turn off “ghost mode,” the app’s default setting, and willingly share his or her location via Snap Map.
Should a user decide to activate Snap Map, a Bitmoji (a commonly used avatar) representing him or her will appear on maps of the user’s friends, showing the user’s exact location.
Users have an options for sharing their location
“By turning on the Snap Map feature, kids are potentially giving acquaintances or strangers access to their current location, depending on who they have in their friends list,” said Chrissy Monroe, coordinator, Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness.
Snapchat Inc. reported that the map only activates while users are using the application.
Information about kids’ safety tools and resources
Monroe urges users and their parents to make safe decisions should they decide to use the map feature. If Snap Map is turned on, users are given the option of who sees their location: all of a user’s friends or select friends.
“If a user decides to activate Snap Map, he or she has the opportunity to make a safe decision by selecting which of their friends are able to view his or her location,” Monroe said.
Sharing a location can be dangerous. Make it a habit to review your child’s social media settings and ask your child to be aware of when and where they are using the map. For example, while the location service can lead people to public places, it also can show the location of your home.
Disable Snap Map: How to turn Snap Map off and activate Ghost Mode
The first time you ever open the Snap Map, you’ll be prompted with options of who you want to share your location with. You can skip this and do it later – just head into the Settings button in the corner of the screen to adjust your choices.
You’ll be able to choose whether you want all of your friends to view your location, or just select friends – simply choose from a list.
It’s also possible to hide your location entirely with Ghost Mode, which means the Snap Map will never be updated with your own location.
If you don’t trust Ghost Mode to work, you can also try disabling Location Services for Snapchat in your smartphone’s actual settings.
It’s also important to remember that putting your phone in airplane mode – or powering the handset down completely – will prevent Snap Map from tracking your location. Turning GPS, data, and Wi-Fi connectivity off should also prevent tracking.
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What do you think of Snapchat Snap Maps? Let us know in the comments.
As highlighted in this article, knowing a person’s location through Snap Map can indeed contribute to their safety in certain scenarios. However, this has to be weighed up against the many significant personal security and privacy issues associated with sharing this type of information via social media. There are other methods of tracking an individual’s location that may be more appropriate or relevant depending on the circumstances.
How to make Snap Map safer
If you are a Snapchat user, there are a number of ways to increase privacy when using Snap Map:
- Enable Ghost Mode, this allows you to view other’s locations without revealing your own. This will automatically kick in after a couple of hours of inactivity
- Turn off GPS on your handset to stops the application knowing where you are
- When sharing a location, always take care and only select the friends you wish to know your whereabouts
What is the interviewer looking for?
The interviewer is evaluating you on the following:
- Did you begin by stating what the product goal is before talking about metrics? Talking about metrics without knowing the product goal is a red flag.
- Is your answer structured or do you ramble?
- Do you provide precise metric definitions or do you tend to give a general description such as, “I would find out if people used the feature frequently.”
How to structure your answer?
We suggest structuring your answer in the following way:
- Ask clarifying questions to confirm your assumptions (e.g., What does the product do? Who is the product for?).
- State or verify with the interviewer what the goal of the feature is (e.g., to increase conversion, revenue, profits, sales, engagement, retention, or other?).
- Apply the product’s user experience flow to drive your analysis of what to measure. For example, think of what to measure when the user opens the app or opens a feature and interacts with it.
- At each stage, identify behaviours that can be quantified with a metric(s).
- Provide criteria to prioritize the metrics.
- Summarize your analysis.