With technology being so prevalent in our kids’ lives, it is important to take the extra step to keep them and their private information safe. These 3 simple setting changes will make a difference in limiting strangers’ access to your children’s information.
1. Location Settings
The following examples can be applied to other social media platforms (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) on your phone in addition to Snapchat, which is explained below.
Snapchat’s Snap Maps
Snapchat’s latest update includes something called Snap Maps. Snap Maps allow you to click on other people’s pictures and see exactly where they are on a map. You can even zoom in close enough to see the street address that they are located at. You can opt-out of Snap Maps by choosing “Ghost Mode.”
- When Snapchat first takes you on a tutorial of Snap Maps, it will give you the option of who to share your location with. By choosing “Only Me,” Ghost Mode will turn on and no one will be able to see your location.
- If you have already gone through the tutorial and want to change your settings to Ghost Mode, go back to the Snap Maps screen and find the setting button in the right corner. You can change who can see your location there to “Only Me.”
You turn off location services all together for Snapchat in your phone’s privacy settings and choose, “Never share.” Other apps on your phone, such as Facebook and Instagram, also can see your location. You can choose which apps to opt out of location sharing services in your phone’s privacy settings. The instructions below are for iPhone users. (Android)
- Under settings, find the Snapchat app
2. Go to “Location” and choose “Never”
2. Google SafeSearch
You can block explicit content from being searched on the internet through Google SafeSearch. Google’s website explains, “SafeSearch can help you block inappropriate or explicit images from your Google Search results. The SafeSearch filter isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps you avoid most violent and adult content.”
- Go to google.com/preferences. At the top of the list, you can check the box to turn on SafeSearch.
- Lock SafeSearch mode by pressing the link next to the box you just clicked, “Lock SafeSearch.” This will add a picture of colored balls to the top of each search page. This can help you know if SafeSearch is on and locked. If you do not see colored balls on the search engine pages, it is not locked. To unlock SafeSearch, you will need to log in to your Google (Gmail) account.
3. Phone “Restrictions”: iPhone Users
On the iPhone, you can turn on restrictions that require a separate password to lock and unlock. These restrictions include but are not limited to controlling explicit content, disabling the ability to install or delete apps, and disabling screen recording on game apps. This may be useful if you have a safety app installed that you do not want deleted, or if you want to make sure that location services are never turned on. All of these settings are customizable, so you are able to choose which ones are most important to you.
- Go to Settings
- Press Enable Restrictions
- Make a unique password
- Write it down so you don’t forget
- Choose which Restrictions to enable
Communication with your children is the key to trust. It is important for them to understand that steps like these are acts of prevention so that they don’t think it is a limitation, but rather a protection. Media can be used in positive ways, we just need to be making sure that our kids’ private information is protected.
What can YOU Do?
Have you listened to the Slave Stealer Podcast? In this episode, Slave Stealer host Mark Mabry invites his 12-year-old son on the show to help him learn what trafficking is in an appropriate way for his age. Go to the blog post here.
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