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Snapchat is an app for sharing pictures and videos (‘snaps ’) with any other Snapchat users.

What makes Snapchat different? Snapchat snaps can be viewed for up to 10 seconds and then they disappear. The person sending the snap sets the time a snap can be seen: between one and 10 seconds.

About 31 million Indians use Snapchat, and it’s particularly popular with younger Indians.

Safer Snapchat use

While most people enjoy using apps like Snapchat, things can and do go wrong. Some people may be subject to abuse, having their account hacked or having their images shared without consent.

Follow these tips to manage risks when using Snapchat.

Use privacy settings to protect personal information

Set your privacy settings so that:

  • you only receive snaps from friends rather than everyone. Snapchat will notify you if someone not on your friends list tries to send you a snap – you will only see the snap if you add them to your friends list.
  • only your friends can see your stories (compilations of snaps).

Be aware of the access you give Snapchat when you sign up. Snapchat may ask for access to your contacts list or address book, the images on your camera roll, and location information. Set the access level to one you’re happy with.

Use your security settings to keep your account secure

Check your security settings regularly, especially after software updates, as settings may then revert to the default, and perhaps open, settings.

Keep your account secure.

  • Have a strong password and don’t share it with anyone. Choose a password that isn’t easy to guess and change it regularly, as these are the best ways to protect your account from hackers.
  • Verify your mobile number so that you can reset your password using SMS if you need to.
  • Always change your password if you think your account has been compromised.
  • Think carefully about what you share in your snaps. Don’t be lulled into a false security just because snaps disappear—the person you sent the snap to can capture it with a screen shot and pass it on to someone else. You will receive a notification from Snapchat if this happens, but it might already be too late to stop further sharing.

What to do if things go wrong

If you’re feeling unsafe right now, call the police on One Double Zero (100).

Follow these tips if you’re being abused through Snapchat:

If the abuser’s behaviour makes you feel unsafe, you’ll need support from the police and other services. See our get help page.

Where to go for more information

You’ll find more information on how to have a safer Snapchat experience at Snapchat’s safety centre and safety and abuse page

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