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What is Snapchat and should I let my kids use it?

There's a new kid in town when it comes to social media. A lot of parents are up to speed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Kids know that, and they know mom and dad are there, and grandmom is there. They do stuff there, but they are moving on to new places, too. Snapchat is a really popular place right now. Why? Because the whole concept is: Hey, you're in the moment, snap a photo, send it via text messaging, that's the Snapchat and the chat; and it will expire after ten minutes. Now, think about the repercussions of a tool like this in a kid's hand. We're telling kids: Don't do anything you'll regret. Digital is forever. And now an app like Snapchat comes out, and on the surface, as adults, we think, "I kind of get that. I take a picture of my couch, I send it to my mom to see if that's something she may want me to buy for her because she's redecorating." We all get that. That's not with kids. Kids are going to do silly, dumb things that they regret. They are going to think it's gone forever, but we all know; digital can go viral and digital is forever. Snapchat, keep your kids away from it.

Advantages and disadvantages of snapchat are everywhere, and like all social media sharing platforms they need to be understood. So talk to your kids about the advantages and disadvantages of snapchat.


Expert Bio

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Theresa M. Payton

National Cyber Security Expert

Theresa Payton is a well-known and highly respected national authority on cybersecurity, e-crime and fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. She has over twenty years of advanced business and security technology expertise and leadership at the highest levels of government and in the financial services industry, including being the first woman to serve as Chief Information Officer at the White House.  She is a wife and mother to three fabulous and fun kids.  She is also the co-author of the newly released book Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? and the founder of the S.A.F.E. Kids initiative - a classroom-based, digital safety program.

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