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The dangers of the Snapchat app

10:07 AM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Maybe you've seen the Snapchat ghostlike image on your teen's phone. You'll want to know what it is, what it has the power to do and how it could haunt your child for years to come.

Snapchat claims it self destructs text messages, video and pictures after they're sent. Take a picture, set the timer and when the user opens the message to see it he or she has between 1 and 10 seconds before it disappears off their phone.

But is it really gone forever? Some say not so fast. Those pictures may still end up on the Internet. "There's no guarantee," says Jacksonville University Professor Angela Mattia who teaches social media classes. "The problem is once people figure out there's that illusion of safety out there then people start figuring out a way to abuse it."

It's easy to set up a screen grab. Snapchat warns the sender that the message has been grabbed. The recipient can recall the picture but the sender cannot. Many teens and young adults use Snapchat.

Parents are concerned inappropriate pictures are being sent. "In social media you can't say 100% that something is deleted. It can still be out there. So I would say online in general teach your children nothing is safe," says Mattia.

Another thing to keep in mind is that those pictures your child never wanted the public to see may also hurt his or her chances of getting a job in the future.

More than 60-million snaps are sent each day. We'll have to wait if Snapchat will continue to be popular or end up self-destructing.

If you'd like more information on Snapchat here are some social media tips.

First Coast News

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