Snapchat Paperclip What do Parents need to know

New Shapchat feature ‘Snapchat Paperclip’ offers the potential danger of inappropriate links to be sent or received.

Hot on the heels of Snapchat Maps, Snapchat has rolled out 4 more new features for Snapchat users. The 4 new features are:
• Paperclip
• Geofilters
• Backdrops
• New Voice filters

This blog looks at Snapchat Paperclip.

Snapchat Paperclip

Snapchat ‘Paperclip’ allows Snappers to create website links within the app and send these to other snapchat users or upload the snap with a link attached to their own Snapchat story. Similar to Snapchat codes, which we’ve covered in a previous article, we’ve noticed some safety concerns parents may want to be aware of.

When testing the Paperclip feature I found it was possible to create a link which sends an unsuspecting receiver to a website containing adult or inappropriate content.

To be clear, it appears there is no blocking/filtering of any websites currently in place with Snapchat Paperclip.  This may be something Snapchat will look at – hopefully in the near future.

So..currently there is the potential that a Snapchat friend could create a link to pornography, graphic violence or other inappropriate content – all without leaving the comfort of the Snapverse. It may also pose potential risks of coming into contact with scammers, as young users could be directed to phishing websites where private information could be given to online criminals.

There was no warning in place or disclaimer stating that any of the websites you are about to visit may not be suitable or may have inappropriate content. Snapchat does however show a short preview text of the website, but, and this is likely, the user may have already swiped up to ‘open link’.

Watch this short video on how Snapchat Paperclip works

Just as there are real dangers with clicking on links from emails, messages, and texts which you receive from trusted or un-trusted sources, it’s very important to be vigilant to the risks of ending up on a website you never meant to go to.

So our advice is to keep the conversations going on new features and apps – and in this case the risks of creating and clicking on random links.
Take care online

Wayne

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