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Snapchat brings new features to make it harder for strangers to contact users

Snap Inc. has announced new privacy and safety features for its social media platform. These features build on its previous efforts to make it harder for strangers to contact users on Snapchat, primarily teens.

Snapchat already warns teenagers when someone, who is not in their contacts or mutual friends, tries to message them. It's now updating the in-app warnings feature to alert teen users when they get a message from a potential scammer. In other words, if they get messages "from someone who has been blocked or reported by others, or is from a region where the teen’s network isn't typically located."

Snapchat privacy features

This goes hand in hand with another feature called Enhanced Friending Protections, which has been updated to "prevent delivery of a friend request altogether." The feature kicks in when a teen sends or receives a friend request from someone not in their mutual friends or someone who has previously used Snapchat from locations associated with scamming activity.

Snapchat will remind users more frequently to check their location-sharing settings. An update intended for all users is simplified location-sharing, where they can choose which friends can see their location and update their location settings through a single place.

Snapchat privacy features

"These new tools build on our ongoing commitment to help Snapchatters communicate with their close friends in an environment that prioritizes their safety, privacy, and well-being. We look forward to continuing to create even more protections, tools, and resources to help protect our community," the company said in a blog post.

The social media platform will increase the frequency of reminders it sends to alert users about keeping their location settings in check. Snapchat is also updating its blocking tools to prevent repeat harassment and bullying.

When a user blocks someone, Snapchat will also block future friend requests from accounts created on the same device. This is to prevent cases where abusers create new accounts on the platform and try to contact users who have blocked them.

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