UNION COUNTY, NJ — Parents and kids all over are using the app “Snap Chat,” but are you sure it’s safe? Did you know that there are features in the app that allow someone to follow you or your kids? It’s called “Snap Map” and it allows users friends to see their exact location. 

Snap Chat can be fun when used with caution, according to experts, but it’s important to understand the app’s privacy settings, such as “ghost mode,” which allows you to turn off the ability for others see you or your child’s location.

The Union County Sheriff’s Department has created a video to show you how to set your privacy settings and keep you and your loved ones safe. 

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“Technology moves at such a fast rate we need to keep up with our children’s safety,” said Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan. “If you have a teenager with Snapchat, please view this important short video.”

Parents should never assume what's posted on Snap Chat is private. Some argue that only your friends can see your avatar, which is correct. But look at the round circles of people, (not the blue dots) and you'll see those are stories people posted publicly. You can see these even if you are not friends with them. 

It’s a feature that criminals, including human traffickers, burglars and kidnappers can take advantage. Adjusting your privacy settings can help keep you and your loved ones safe. 

Experts also argue that people often accept friend requests from others they don’t know, making  it easier for criminals to use social media to their advantage.

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