Young people warned about risks of Snapchat map feature

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Children and young people in South Tyneside are being warned about the dangers of using a new mobile phone app feature.

Safeguarding bosses at South Tyneside Council are concerned about a new Snapchat feature, Snap Maps, which enables friends to share their location with each other.

While the feature is designed to help friends meet up or attend events together, it has raised fears that it could be abused.

The Local Safeguarding Children Board has produced an information leaflet ,which gives clear instructions around the location settings, including advice on how to people can hide their location using the ghost mode.

The leaflet also explains what people can do if they encounter an issue.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families at South Tyneside Council, said: “The Snapchat app is especially popular with teenagers but it is important that it is used responsibly to make sure young people do not put themselves at risk of grooming, stalking or bullying.

“We would encourage people to never share their location with people they do not know.

“We also want to make sure that parents and carers of young children are aware of the risks of this feature. I would encourage them to talk to their children about how to stay safe online and make sure they know how to protect their privacy.”

The leaflet has been sent to all the of the borough’s schools and can be accessed at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/snapchat.