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“Predators actually get drawn to this stuff,” new SnapChat map can track your exact location

Social media app SnapChat just added a new feature that can track users' exact locations and share them with everyone in their SnapChat contacts.

"Snap Map" is an opt-in feature, so your privacy isn't automatically being violated.

You can access the map by opening the camera within the app and pinching the screen.

But for those who do opt-in, your location is visible as soon as the app is opened - not just while snapping, allowing contacts to see where you work, where you live, where you play, and where you go to school.

SnapChat has a minimum age requirement of 13, many of whom may opt in to Snap Map without their parents' knowledge.

Safety experts are warning parents to check their child's phone, bullies or predators could become an issue - especially if a teen has never met some of their contacts in person.

Snap Map has three privacy settings to choose from by pinching the map: select which friends view your location; all friends may view your location; or "ghost mode," which makes your location visible to only the user.

"If I click on her, it tells me exactly where the street she's at - the corner, everything. That's scary," Adrianne Sims tells WTHR.

Sims says her teenage daughter has many SnapChat contacts she's never met.

"That means that random people can see when she's at work. They can see when she's going to and from work, where she lives, and that's too much information to have out there,” Sims said.

Police agree and have this advice for parents, "It's giving out kids' addresses. It's giving out school info if they post at school, job info. Predators actually get drawn to this stuff. Well, now I get to see everything about this kid. I know what school they go to now. I know where they live. I know that they play baseball," Indiana State Police Cyber Crimes Youth Specialist Stephanie Nancarrow told WTHR.

Child safety experts from ChildNet.com advise:

  • Only share your location with people you know in person. Never share your location with strangers.
  • Don’t add contacts to Snapchat if you don’t know them in person.
  • Regularly review your settings and take an active decision about whether you want people to know your location. Remember you can switch this off at any time. Think about where you’re sharing your location. Location services such as Snap Maps can lead people to your house. Think about what times you’re on the app and whether these are locations you want to share – if not, then turn this off within your settings.