Snapchat Alert

Posted on October 17th, 2014 in Parents,Teachers by Mrs Hill

Parents & Carers, please read the following email that we received from Seona Baker (Child Safeguarding Coordinator – Education and Early Years, Walsall) today:

Dear all,

As you may be aware many pupils have an app called Snapchat on their phones etc, and an image they take and send from their phone is only supposed to last for approx 5/10 seconds, however, as described below there is an issue with Snapchat that pupils need to be made aware of. Please could you address this issue with pupils?

SnapChat is possibly becoming more common with younger pupils due to the number of older siblings introducing them to the service.

SnapChat allows users to send each other photos and videos that automatically disappear after a few seconds.
It is estimated that more than half of SnapChat users are 16 or under.
Many of the pictures are actually coming from a site that is called SnapSaved which allows users to easily capture images from Snapchat rather than allow them to disappear as intended. They offer this facility by saving the images on the SnapSaved servers.

SnapSaved is not associated to SnapChat and it is that third party site that has been hacked.
Just in case any of the young people in your schools report any problems or worries, I am sending you this email so that you will understand in case any staff don’t spot that they might be dealing with a child-protection issue and the nature of the problem. Images from SnapSaved are being uploaded and made available via discussion boards.

From the press reports highlighted by CEOP it seems:

  • It is unlikely the images are linked to usernames so it would be hard to locate a photo of an individual.
  • There is no additional personal information associated with images.
  • Most of the images are not sexual.

Despite this, if any young people you work with raise any concern that images of them have been uploaded, it’s obviously really important that they are provided with support.  Do your staff know what to say and do if a child in your school loses control of what is, by definition, a sexual image? You cannot promise with any certainty that an image can be removed from the Internet, but it’s never too late to get help.

Young people can:
Talk to one of the counsellors at ChildLine on 0800 11 11 ( ChildLine are working with The Internet Watch Foundation to report sites that host images and ask for those images to be removed.
If the young person is being threatened, facing harassment or being blackmailed because of a sexual image then please contact CEOP right away.
Most popular websites will have a ‘report’ function that will allow young people to report the content themselves.
Staff supporting the teaching of e-Safety in school might find the ThinkUKnow fact sheet ‘Webcam with Confidence’ useful background reading. There is also an assembly on the issue on the ThinkUKnow website in the Teachers’ Resources section.

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