Safeguards for Teens

Our goal is to make Snapchat a fun and safe environment. We offer extra protections for teens to help keep the focus on connecting with close friends, preventing unwanted contact from strangers, and providing an age-appropriate content experience. Here are the key things to know about our Snapchat safeguards.

Snapchat Safeguards, Explained

Breakdown of Our Key Protections for Teens

Protections Against Unwanted Contact

When a teen becomes friends with someone on Snapchat, we want to be confident it's someone they know and trust. To do that, we:

  • Don't allow teens to communicate one-to-one with another person unless they are friends on Snapchat or an existing contact in their phone.

  • Make it difficult for strangers to find teens on Snapchat by not allowing them to show up in search results unless they have several mutual friends or are existing phone contacts. In many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, we also make it difficult for a teen to show up as a suggested friend to another user outside their friend network.

  • Offer easy Snapchat safety tools for blocking someone if your teen no longer wants to be in touch with them.

  • Send teens an in-app warning if someone they don't share a mutual friend with tries to contact them.

Zero Tolerance for Severe Harms

We have zero tolerance for people who violate our rules by committing severe offences, such as causing serious physical or emotional harm to another Snapchatter. If we discover this type of behaviour, we immediately disable their accounts and apply measures to prevent them from getting back on Snapchat. We also escalate emergencies to law enforcement and work to support their investigations.

Age-Appreciation Content for Snapchat Teens

While Snapchat is most commonly used for private communication between friends, we offer two main content platforms - Stories and Spotlight - where Snapchatters can find public Stories and videos published by vetted media organizations, verified creators and Snapchatters.

In these sections of our app, we limit the ability for unmoderated content to be shared widely. We use protection detection tools and additional review processes to make sure this public content complies with our guidelines before it can get broadcast to a large audience.

Specifically for teens on Snapchat, we have extra protections in place to help make sure they have an age-appropriate content experience. To do that, we:

  • Use strong proactive detection tools to find public accounts that try to market age-inappropriate content, and a new Strike System to more effectively crack down on these types of accounts.

  • Give parents the ability to set stricter content limits as part of our Snapchat Parental Controls. Snapchat's Family Centre allows parents to monitor who teens are talking to on Snapchat and set Content Controls - which can help prompt important conversations about safety.

Find out more here.

Strong Default Settings for Teens

In real life, friendships should come with a sense of safety, security and privacy, and we apply that same principle to Snapchat. That's why we default key safety and privacy settings for teens to the strictest standards. To do that, we:

  • Contact settings for teens are set to friends and phone contacts only, and they can't be expanded to strangers. This protection helps prevent teens from being contacted by another person who isn't already an existing Snapchat friend or in their phone contacts.

  • Turn off location-sharing by default. If Snapchatters decide to use the location-sharing feature on our Snapchat Map, they can only share their location with people they are already friends with.

  • Send teen regular reminders to check their privacy settings and account security. We also recommend that teens enable two-factor authentication and verify their email and phone number. This helps keep teens on Snapchat from having their account hacked and helps protect their personal information.

Quick and Simple Reporting Tools

We offer easy ways for both teens and parents on Snapchat to report a safety concern to us directly on Snapchat. We also offer online reporting tools that you don't need a Snapchat account to use.

  • Reporting is confidential on Snapchat. We don't tell Snapchatters who reported them.

  • We have a 24/7 Global Trust & Safety team. When you or your teen reports something, it goes directly to our Trust & Safety team, so they can take action quickly.

  • Even though conversations on Snapchat delete by default, we retain data while we review reports from teens or parents. In some cases, this may even include referring an incident to law enforcement. And in case authorities want to follow up, we retain this data for an even longer period of time.

Snapchat is Only for Teens Ages 13+

Teens must be at least 13 to create a Snapchat account. If we become aware that an account belongs to a person under 13, we terminate their account from the platform and delete their data.

It's critical that your teen signs up with an accurate birthday, so they can benefit from our safety protection for teens. To help prevent teens from circumventing these safeguards, we don't allow 13-17-years-olds with existing Snapchat accounts to change their birth year to an age of 18 or above.

Tools & Resources for Parents

Learn about tools and resources for parents and caregivers.