Over the past several months the questions we've been asked the most by parents are about Snapchat.
Do you ever plan to monitor Snapchat?
When will you support it?
How will you be able to do it?
It's understandable that parents are concerned about Snapchat. The allure of Snapchat, and one of the reasons it is popular with teens, is that messages disappear after they are opened. This makes the task of monitoring Snapchat all the more challenging. In addition, parents are more familiar with Snapchat than many other apps teens use. It's safe to assume monitoring Snapchat has been on our radar for quite some time. Today I'm happy to announce PocketGuardian now monitors Snapchat! Initially PocketGuardian will monitor unread private messages, saved read messages, and public messages. We hope to broaden our support over the coming months.
You may be asking yourself how we are able to monitor Snapchat. Suffice it to say a lot of hard work was put into this effort. Initially we were unsure if it was possible to do. Fortunately, we’ve been able to work with some great people to help make this all possible. Including Snapchat, PocketGuardian now monitors 14 mobile apps and social media sites.
One of our goals at PocketGuardian is to help parents keep their kids safe online. To accomplish this, we strive to monitor many of the apps teen use. We also take parent feedback seriously, so if parents make a request for PocketGuardian to monitor a particular app, we make it a high priority. Another strategy we use to help parents is encouraging them to have healthy conversations with their kids about safe and ethical technology use. We advise them to ask their kids which apps they use, why they use them, and who they are communicating with.
Remember, the presence of an app like Snapchat on your child's device does not mean they are doing something inappropriate. These conversations will help you build trust with your child and teach them to use technology responsibly.
Jason France is a Co-Founder of PocketGuardian, a parental monitoring application that detects Cyberbullying and Sexting on children’s mobile devices while maintaining their privacy. Prior to PocketGuardian he founded Tangent Engineering, which creates custom software applications specializing in CyberSecurity, Natural Language Processing, and Web Design. Jason graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering and a Masters in Information Systems Management with a concentration in CyberSecurity. Follow PocketGuardian on Twitter @PocketGuardian.