Latest Snapchat update concerning to Tampa Bay area parents, police

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (WFLA) -- Your kids and grandkids probably download it to have fun and take silly, animated photos, but Snapchat's latest update could put their safety in jeopardy.

Anyone who downloads its new "Snap Map" update can potentially be pinpointed by a stranger to their exact location anywhere in the world.

Parent Mary Ann Cucuzza tells us she checks and approves her daughter's downloads pretty much every day.

"Like most parents, I think we're just figuring it out as we go," she said.

And like many kids, her daughter first asked to be on Snapchat to have fun.

"The reason she wanted it so she could make all those goofy, animated, bug-eyed faces," Cucuzza said.

But Snapchat's newest updated option takes you from puppy and kitty filters – to potentially showing your exact location. That's why Mary Ann is warning other parents.

"I talked to another mother yesterday and they had no idea that this was even a possibility. No clue! All kinds of new features go into those updates and you never know unless you're researching every single app? And who does that?" she said.

Even Tampa's Police Department is cautioning parents about the Snapchat change.

"When you're giving people your location and you don't know who they are, you never know what's going to happen," Officer Derek Lang said.

And while there are options for this new feature to opt out of the geo-traction, Mary Ann still has concerns.

"What if your friend is showing it to someone else and then that ‘someone else' knows where my daughter is? EXACTLY where my daughter is!" she said.

So here's what 8 On Your Side wants you to keep in mind: If you activate the feature for the first time, you'll have three options. Number one is to make your location visible to everyone. The second option is only making it visible to ‘selected friends.' The third is to make your location visible to no one at all. Snapchat calls this it's ‘ghost mode' feature.


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