Snapchat Rolls Out Improved Protection Tools

Snapchat’s adding some new ways to keep users safe, with expanded restrictions on connections in the app, updated blocking tools, and new in-app warnings when previously reported users attempt to connect.

Which is important, because Snapchat’s user base is primarily young, with the app still a key connector among teens. This cohort is engaging at an extremely risky time, in terms of learning about the dangers of online connection, over-sharing, bullying, etc.

As such, these new features could prove to be valuable enhancements for many Snap users.

First off, Snap’s adding new warning notes when users who’ve previously been blocked or reported by others attempt to connect.

Snapchat protections update

As you can see in this example, users will now see an in-app warning when someone who’s been reported by others attempts to connect. The warning will also be displayed if the user is from a region where the users’ network isn’t typically located.

It could be a good way to filter out bad actors, especially repeat offenders seeking to connect with youngsters in the app.

Snap added similar warnings for connection requests from people you don’t share any mutual friends with last year.

Snapchat’s also implementing more limits on friend requests from people whom you have no mutual connections with.

Snap already restricts its connection recommendations when users don’t share any friends in-common, and it will now also expand its restrictions on who can send friend requests based on shared connections and location.

We will prevent delivery of a friend request altogether when teens send or receive a friend request from someone they don’t have mutual friends with, and that person also has a history of accessing Snapchat in locations often associated with scamming activity. This applies regardless of whether the friend request was sent out by a teen, or sent to a teen from a potential bad actor.”

Snap says that this will help to expand its efforts to combat sextortion scams in the app, by limiting connections from bad actors based on a broader range of parameters.

Snapchat’s also increasing the frequency of its prompts around location sharing permissions in the app, while it’s also simplifying its display of location sharing controls to improve clarity around who can see a users’ location.

Snapchat protections update

Finally, Snap’s also expanding the power of its blocking tools, which will mean that once you block a user in the app, you’ll also now be blocking all new friend requests sent from other accounts created on the same device.

These are some good updates, which will provide protection for Snap users. And again, given the younger skew of the app, it’s important for Snapchat to maximize its protections, in order to ensure that vulnerable users are not targeted by spammers, scammers, and worse.

There’s no 100%, foolproof way to protect everyone, but Snap’s improving systems align with the key risks.

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