Over 75% of Gen Z, under 18, use Snapchat. It is a platform where messages, or snaps, disappear after they’ve been opened. Because of the nature of this platform, sending nudes is quite popular, and unfortunately, teens send nudes daily on Snapchat. As a result, this platform can be a haven for sexual predators, and you must be vigilant to keep your child safe.
Shedding Light on the Issue: Statistics About Teen Snapchat Sexting
While people of all ages use Snapchat, it’s popular among the youth, with nearly 20% of its user base being people from 13-17. Here are some horrifying Snapchat sext statistics.
- 1 in 4 teens receives sexually explicit texts, and 1 in 7 sends them.
- Many will be victims of this, with 1 in 10 forwarding sexts without their consent and 1 in 12 having someone else forward them.
- Snapchat is one of the biggest sexting sites due to the disappearing messages, where screenshots potentially put your child in danger.
Why Is Snapchat a Concern for Parents?
Teens exploring their sexuality is nothing new, but platforms like Snapchat are not an age-appropriate place. Snapchat can be a dangerous place for teenagers for several reasons, such as:
- Sexual predators. A predator can pretend to be a teenager or target an emotionally vulnerable teen and use this platform to groom them.
- Sending nudes, even among teens of the same age, can be illegal. More on this later.
- Despite the vanishing text and photos Snapchat has, someone can screenshot a picture. Snapchat does notify the other user that their pic has been screenshotted, but even then, there are ways around this.
- A person may use screenshotted Snapchat nudes as blackmail or use them in other ways to harm a teenager.
There are several dangers in sending nudes on Snapchat. If you’re a parent, you should be aware of how dangerous the platform can be and how sexting exposes kids to predators and even people their own age who may use their sexts for nefarious reasons. Now, let’s look at Snapchat’s safety.
Snapchat Sexting Safety Has Always Been Questionable
As you may expect, Snapchat has been criticized for a long time for being a risky app for minors, with many wanting it to be for users 18 or over. While it’s still an app that teens can use, Snapchat has rolled out new safety features, such as adding warnings if a minor adds someone they aren’t mutual with.
Nevertheless, for a significant number of people, these measures seem insufficient and belated. A sexual predator can get past these safeguards; even then, someone in their mutual friend group can still harm a teen.
5 Signs Your Teen Might Be Snapchat Sexting
Because of the nature of Snapchat, it can be challenging to know when a teen is sending nudes on it. However, if you know the signs, you can make a good guess that something is up.
- They Seem More Secretive Than Usual. While no teen wants you to see what they’re doing, you may notice they’re acting odder than usual. They may go to the other room, cover the screen with their hand, or even sleep with their phone.
- They Get Aggressive if You Try to Pry. Teens may be moody, but a teen who is sexting may try to yell at you or show they’re visibly upset in more ways if you try to see what they are doing.
- You Notice Their Grades Are Dropping. If your pupil, who usually makes good grades, suddenly performs less in school, that could be a red flag. The fact that directly, of course, sending intimate photos is not related to the deterioration in learning. But! It distracts from the educational process. Your son or daughter starts to dive into something that they are more interested in. They get feedback on their photos, and it’s quite distracting! So pay attention. Maybe it’s a signal. Usually, Snapchat sexting can consume their time and also cause mental health effects that you may notice are affecting their grades.
- Different Friends. While it’s normal for teens to change their friend groups, if their friend circle seems flirtier than usual, it may be a sign they are sexting.
- Trust Your Gut. Because of how secretive sexting is and how the signs can blend in with normal teen behavior, at the end of the day, we suggest that you trust your gut instinct. If something feels wrong, you should investigate. If you suspect your child is sexting, you should give them a talk and discuss cyber safety with them. Because not only is sexting dangerous, but it can potentially be a cyber crime. Let’s now look at some of the laws around sexting and explain how it can land your teen in hot water.
US Sexting Laws and Regulations
Sexting between consenting adults is perfectly legal. However, if an adult sexts with a minor, they may be charged with jail time fines and be registered as a sex offender, even if it’s an 18-year-old sexting a 17-year-old.
If it’s two minors sexting each other, they can still face juvenile court charges. They may face counseling, detention, community service, and other age-appropriate punishments.
In some states, revenge porn is illegal. This is when you post someone’s nudes as revenge, such as after a bad breakup. Even between adults, this can lead to severe charges.
While the laws may vary between states, the commonality is that a minor should not be sending nudes to anyone. This can not only be bad for their mental health, but it risks punishments for both the teen and potentially the parent. So, if you suspect your teen is sexting, you should do something about it.
10 Tips for Parents on How to Talk to Kids About Sexting
The best way to prevent sexting is to have a conversation about it. While talking about this issue can be uncomfortable, you must do so. Here are 10 ways to talk to your kids about sexting.
- Teach the Importance of Boundaries. As your kid grows into the era of peer pressure, it’s vital to teach them the importance of saying no and setting up boundaries.
- Ask Them What They Know About Sexting. This question can be awkward, but their response can show you if your teen is sexting or not.
- Talk About How Everything on the Internet Is Permanent. Therefore, they must only send something they will not regret later.
- Tell About How Sexting Isn’t Harmless. Instead, it can have lasting mental and legal consequences.
- Discuss the Legal Consequences of Sending Nudes. Some minors may think sending nudes to another child is okay. Clarify the laws and give examples.
- Make Clear Rules. Tell your teen that they should not sext anyone, not answer suspicious messages, and only engage in sexting when they’re of age.
- Inform Them About Groomers. The older person isn’t texting them because they are mature for their age but because they are predators.
- Teach About Consent. Talk about consent laws, including that consent can be withdrawn anytime.
- Be a Person Your Teen Would Reach Out to. If your teen is in trouble, don’t be someone your teen is afraid to speak to.
- Be Realistic. This is perhaps the best piece of advice. Teens will explore their sexuality, and you cannot shelter them forever. Arm them with realistic knowledge and set real boundaries and consequences for their actions.
Bonus: Conversation Starters
If you’re unsure how to approach your teens about sexting, here are some conversation starters to get them thinking.
A trusting beginning to the spread. “Look, I’m not interfering with your personal development in any way, but I want to talk to you. Let’s talk about your body and intimacy. I want you to understand that your body is inviolable until you allow it. And the same goes for photos of it. If you share your body pictures, someone may use them for their own purposes sooner or later.”
Cyber Alert. “Are you aware that today many people may be a danger to you online? For example, a lot of crooks or strangers can send you texts or photos to drag you into conversation. You have to be steadfast not to respond to something like this. Block them or tell me.”
The Internet and the lack of data retention. “Since we are talking about the photos that someone can send you via messengers, that is a nuance. You can’t control the process of what happens next with the photo if you send it to someone. The thing is, there are times when someone you trusted starts blackmailing you like that. Threatening to expose your naked photos to the public. Of course, you will be forced to accept the terms to avoid shame.”
Always willing to listen and help. “Honey, you know I’m always here. Feel free to ask anything. And don’t be afraid that I will criticize. You’re just starting your adult journey, and I’ve been going through it for a long time. Maybe I can be of some use to you!”
uMobix Parental Control App Is Here to Help
With all that said, Snapchat can be an excellent social media app for your children as long as you have the proper parental controls installed. One app you can go to is uMobix. This is a parental control app that, once you pay a subscription, you get many features to monitor your kids and keep them safe. This includes an additional free Snapchat sexting detector, which will alert you based on specific keywords. We are talking about a keylogger, your indispensable assistant in matters of parental control. It is free, by the way. All because of the availability of a free trial. In addition, uMobix lets you screenshot and screen record Snapchat without them knowing.
Teens will use social media, so you must keep them safe. With uMobix, you can have peace of mind knowing where your teen is and who they’re speaking to – all in real-time. If you suspect that your teen is sexting, it may be time for you to install the uMobix app and find out the truth.
Snapchat is one of the apps where teens sext, which can lead to mental and legal consequences. As a parent, educating your teenager about the dangers of Snapchat sexting and having an honest conversation is essential. Teens aren’t perfect, and this is an era where their hormones can get the better of them. Make them feel comfortable talking to you if they have an issue, and install the appropriate parental control apps if they have broken any rules.
We hope this article was helpful for you as a parent. If you haven’t already, talk with your teen about the dangers of Snapchatting nudes.
Why do teens sext and commonly use Snapchat for sexting?
Many teens use Snapchat because the pictures disappear there. In addition, it has a reputation among many people as an app for sexting. Despite this, a person can screenshot snaps secretly, so self-caution is critical.
My teen is Snapchat sexting. What should I do?
The best method is to have an honest conversation about Snapchat sext and the consequences it can have. Installing a parental control app can help you monitor their activities and allow you to intervene if you see that something is wrong.
Who else can be a risk to your children on Snapchat?
Besides sexual predators, it’s possible that other teens can use photos or texts as a way to attack your child. Remember, teens can be vindictive, and relationships can change over time. If your teenager seems emotionally distressed, it’s time for you to have an intervention. Have a conversation about what is bothering them and take appropriate measures.