Carbondale PD warns parents of new Snapchat feature

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Police departments in the Heartland are taking caution and warning parents.

If your teen has updated their Snapchat app, then they have the new feature called Snap Map, which can show your child's location.

Sam Barnard has two boys, 15 and 12 years old, who both use Snapchat daily. She worries about the predators out there.

"It's scary, it really is...I keep their passwords and try to look at everything they post and see everything that they say. The more I can monitor and keep them safe the better."

On Monday, the Carbondale Police Department put out a warning to parents alerting them about a new feature that comes with the Snapchat update called Snap Map.

"Since this is a new feature we thought we would advise parents but it really affects anybody."

This Snapchat feature shows your exact location, which causes a lot of concern for parents and the police department.

"A lot of parents are not as technologically advanced as their kids, so they don't know what the dangers could be. They don't really know what's going on on Snapchat."

However, Snapchat did clear up a few things when asked for a response.

"With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time. It's also not possible to share your location with someone who isn't already your friend on Snapchat"

In other words, you have to be mutual friends first in order to see someone else's map.

"That's why we always advocate that people only be friends on those kinds of media with people they actually know."

Sgt. Ronketto urged parents to talk to their kids and make sure they know who they are online with on Snapchat, Facebook, or evenXboxx live.

You can click here for a parents guide from Snapchat.

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