While Snapchat is far smaller than Facebook and Twitter, its unique application in using the camera and microphone comes with far greater consequences, as it has access to far more invasive functions compared to the Tweet functionality of Twitter or Posts functionality of Facebook.
This guide will run you through key settings to change to keep yourself and your data safe whilst using Snapchat.
Where to begin?
Let’s start with changing who is able to view your stories, enter the settings icon (Fig 1) and click ‘View my story’ (Fig 2), from here you will be able to change those that can view your story. This guide recommends that you change it to either ‘Friends only’ if you are aware of everyone on your friends list, or if there are some users you are uncomfortable sharing certain pictures or videos with but still wish to keep them in your contacts, you can set custom viewership to only allow specified users from watching your stories.
How do I stop users adding me randomly?
Quick add is a feature of Snapchat that allows quick connection with people near you or people with either similar or mutual friends. This makes your username appear on other peoples recommended friends list from which they can select ‘Add’ and straightaway send you a friend request. If you don’t want this, you can easily hide youself from the quick add feature by going into settings, finding ‘See Me in Quick Add’ and toggling this off. This will keep your account relatively private unless a friend shares it on their story or snap message.
What else can I do to keep my account private?
If you have carried out the steps above but want to make your account even more private, there are several options open to you. Clearing your conversation history is a good start as it prevents this historical data being accessed in the event of your account being hacked or your phone stolen. To do this, go to the settings menu and find the privacy category, here you can select the various clear options, ‘Clear Conversation’, ‘Clear Search History’, ‘Clear Top Locations’, and ‘Contact Syncing’.
It is possible to prevent loication tracking as done by most other social media applications although this will have an adverse effect on your experience as it requires activating ‘Ghost Mode’. To do this, navigate to the ‘Snap Map’ by swiping across the application until reaching the map, then select the settings icon (the gear in the top right) and toggling Ghost Mode on, this will prevent Snapchat from tracking your location.
These options and settings are the important settings to change on Snapchat to begin reclaiming your data privacy, take time to tinker and check out each different setting mentioned in this guide to tailor your privacy to yourself, just remember each setting you change will have an effect on your experience using the app.