Mobile Phone Apps
Information about the Snapchat, TikTok and Pinterest mobile phone and tablet apps.
Snapchat is an app used for messaging and sharing photos and videos. You must be 13+ to sign up. Users can send messages (snaps) to others that can only be seen for a set time period e.g. 10 seconds.
Users can also upload snaps to stories which then disappear after 24 hours.
What should I be aware of?
- Who is your child friends with? Talk to your child about who their ‘friends’ online are.
- Group chats - in a group chat there may be people that they’re not friends with on the app who can then communicate with them in the group. This also increases their risk of interacting with strangers.
- Snap Map - The map lets users see where ‘friends’ are. Location sharing via the map is optional and is off by default.
- Snapchat streaks - Streaks count how many consecutive days two people have been sending snaps to each other, this can increase pressure to respond daily.
- Inappropriate content – due to the nature of the app your child may come across content that is inappropriate.
- Screenshots – whilst snaps disappear, users may take screenshots before they do, potentially resulting in them losing control of what they have shared as it could be sent to other people.
- Bullying – there is a risk of bullying on all platforms so please ensure your child knows how to block and report other users if necessary.
It is important to talk to your child regularly about what they are doing online and make sure that they know that they should always talk to you or another trusted adult if they have any concerns. Please make sure the appropriate privacy settings are set up and your child knows how to block and report other users if necessary. This app should not be used by anyone under the age of 13.
TikTok have introduced some new features. TikTok is only for aged 13 years + but we often hear the children at school talking about using this social media platform.
- Every account belonging to someone under 18 will automatically be set to a 60 minute daily screen time limit.
- If you turn off this new default limit and spend more than 100 minutes on TikTok daily, then Tiktok will prompt the user to set a daily limit for themselves.
- Users will receive a weekly inbox notification with a recap of their screen time.
- Parents/carers can set custom time limit for each day of the week.
- The screen time dashboard summaries the time spent on the app, the number of times the app was open and the breakdown of the total time spent during the day and night.
- Parents/carers can use a new setting to schedule times to mute TikTok notifications.
- These schedule and mute settings will soon be available to all TikTok users, whatever their age.
You must be at least 13 years old to have a Pinterest account.
Pinterest is used for finding/storing ideas in categories such as recipes or home and fashion
inspiration. Users can create a number of boards to which they ‘pin’ related ideas to, so they are organised and easy to find.
What safety settings does Pinterest have?
For those under 16, Pinterest sets the account as private. If your child is under 18, then you can add a passcode, which will allow you to manage some settings.
Reporting on Pinterest
If your child is using Pinterest, ensure that they know how to report content that does not meet the guidelines of Pinterest and how to block other users. You can find out more here:
You can find out more using the links below: