King City police are warning parents to monitor their children’s use of social media, especially Snapchat, because of features that make it easier for predators to use to talk to children and send explicit pictures.
Police said what makes the app dangerous is that messages disappear after a few seconds without any traceable record, anyone can make an account without giving identifiable information and a map feature allows people to track users.
What this means for children is that a person can use Snapchat from anywhere in the world to send pictures or messages. Police said predators can pretend to be friends or classmates, send explicit pictures or track children.
Police are also warning parents that officers cannot readily access an account. They said Snapchat does not freely cooperate with police investigations or monitor content shared on the application, and many children who are victims of sexual predators on Snapchat refuse to report.
To prevent children from becoming the victims of predators, police suggest talking to children about the dangers, restricting freedom on social media, searching your child’s account for explicit messages and reporting any explicit information.