Is Snapchat 100% Private?

If you’ve been using Snapchat for years, you’ll know that long ago, you could see who the best friends of any of your contacts were. This was something that generated many complaints but has now been fixed. But Snapchat isn’t still anywhere the 100% privacy clean line yet.

So, that answers the question for those asking, is Snapchat 100% private? Snapchat recently removed some privacy control features from the app, a major concern for users. I know privacy violations are enough reasons to stop using a service. But you don’t have to in this case. I’ll give you more details on Snapchat’s privacy options and let you know how you can have private social interaction on Snapchat.

Is Snapchat 100% Private?

In a nutshell, Snapchat is NOT 100% private! Most of the Privacy Control features have been removed from the latest version of Snapchat, and all you now have is Ghost Mode in My Location. Additionally, you can no longer choose who can chat with you on Snapchat or can see your story in the latest basic Snapchat version.

Moreover, the app’s backend is non-private. As a result, all data transmitted are accessible to Snap Inc, at least for a limited time.

Although Snapchat insists in its privacy policy that its snap and chat features are private, these include all voice and video chats made between friends.

But, for example, Memories are stored in Snapchat’s servers, which are in the Google App Engine. According to Snap Inc’s privacy policy, the Memories are deleted from the servers after about 30 days.

Today, Facebook may be the worst app for user privacy (that’s a piece for another day), but following close behind is Snapchat. For example, the app can access your address book and collects phone numbers and names without consent. Additionally, according to Information Week, the app has access to your location services and transmits these data to analytics tracking service providers.

How to Make Your Snapchat private?

Those looking for ways to set their Snapchat to private are faced with a brick wall. The bad news is, as of the time of writing this, you can’t set your Snapchat privately as you could earlier with the older Snapchat versions.

Before the update was released in July 2022, all you needed to do, according to Snapchat Support, was:

  1. Click on your profile icon on the top left corner of the Snapchat camera screen.
  2. Click the Settings button in the shape of a gear icon, scroll to Privacy Controls and select an option.
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But that was in the past. You can no longer do this in the latest basic Snapchat version, released on June 29. The Privacy Control feature has disappeared from the Settings of the latest Snapchat version. You can see below what the Settings dashboard looks like now:

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As you can see from above, the Privacy Control feature is no longer here. That tells you Snapchat is tightening its noose of privacy on users. You have no control over your privacy, except for My Location settings which you can put in Ghost Mode.

So what happened?

Why is Snapchat removing Privacy Control from the newer version?

With the latest version, Snapchat is introducing its subscription-based version, Snapchat+. It is not a different platform but has exclusive features, including the Privacy Control feature.

However, the bad news is this version is made available to users on a monthly subscription of $3.99.

And guess what? When I subscribed to Snapchat+, I could find the Privacy Control feature in Settings.

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So, if you want to make your Snapchat private, you must pay for it by subscribing to Snapchat+. The other option is to downgrade to the earlier version, which still has the Privacy Control or Who Can... feature.

How to Make Snapchat Private on Snapchat+

  1. Open Snapchat and tap on your Bitmoji avatar or profile icon at the top left corner.
  1. Go to Settings by tapping the gear icon at the top right corner of the page.
How to Make Snapchat Private on Snapchat+
  1. Scroll down to PRIVACY CONTROL in green text
  2. By selecting Contact Me, you can set who can contact you directly with Snaps, calls, or chats
  3. You can also choose who sees your story by selecting View My Story
  4. Finally, you can set who sees your location history update when you have Snapchat opened by selecting See My Location

Read also: How to Tell If Someone Deleted Their Snapchat

Don’t Want Your Contacts to Find You on Snapchat? Tips to Try

As I told you earlier, if you want your Snapchat account to be as private as possible, the first thing to do is get the premium Snapchat+. Otherwise, you can only hide your location history from your friends (being in Ghost Mode). So I’ll talk about that first, and we’ll proceed for those with a Snapchat+ account.

Tip 1: Hide your location from the Snapchat map

What compromises privacy the most on Snapchat is that your contacts can see your location on the map. That feature is great but can be a very important privacy leak. You must follow the steps below to prevent your location from being seen on Snapchat. Note that your type of Snapchat determines the procedure. The procedures below all work for the latest Snapchat version released in July 2022.

Step-by-step to hide location on the basic Snapchat

  1. Open Snapchat and tap on your profile icon at the top left corner
  2. Go to Settings by tapping the gear icon at the top right corner of the page.
  3. Scroll down to See My Location
  4. Switch Ghost Mode to the right until the toggle switch turns green

Step-by-step to hide location on Snapchat+

  1. If you use Snapchat+, tap on your profile at the top left corner of the camera page
  2. Click the Settings icon and go to Privacy Control.
  3. Tap on See My Location to set who sees your location history update when you have Snapchat opened.
  4. Toggle on Ghost Mode. Once you do this, your friends can’t see your location, and your Ghost Trail will be cleared.
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You can also choose to share your location only with certain friends. For that, you have to have the Ghost Mode deactivated. You can select My friends if you only want to share it with your contacts.

If you want to share it with all your contacts except some people, select My Friends, Except… And if you’re going to share it with only a few friends, choose Only These Friends…

With any of the last two options, you must select the friends with whom you want to share the location, then save your choice, and that’s it.

Tip 2: Select who sees your stories on Snapchat+

Sharing stories on Snapchat is one of the app’s most important features. However, you can select which of your contacts can see your story, similar to Instagram’s “best friends.”

To share your stories with just a few friends on Snapchat, follow these steps:

  1. Open Snapchat and tap on your profile at the top left corner of the camera page
  2. Click the Settings icon and go to Privacy Control.
  3. Tap on View My Story to set who sees your Snapchat stories.
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  1. As you can see above, you can select Everyone, Friends Only, or Custom. This last option is used to choose which of your contacts you want to share your stories with. If you choose that option, you have to select the contacts with whom you will share the stories, and that’s it.

Tip 3: Limit who can talk to you on Snapchat+

With this trick, you can choose who can contact you (send you messages, photos, or videos) through the application. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Snapchat and tap on your profile at the top left corner of the camera page.
  2. Click the Settings icon and go to Privacy Control or Who Can… (depending on your Snapchat version).
  3. Tap on the Contact me section just below Privacy Control or Who Can…
Tip 3: Limit who can talk to you on Snapchat+
  1. Select an option out of the three you can see:
Limit who can talk to you on Snapchat+
  • When you select Friends, only your contacts can contact you through Snapchat.
  • When you choose Friends and Contacts, your friends on Snapchat and those on your contacts can contact you directly with Snaps, calls, or messages.
  • When you choose Everyone, anyone outside your friend list can contact you.

Tip 4: Hide your phone number

Your phone number is probably the most sensitive data you should share only with your close friends and family. Your number could be saved by users you don’t know.

  1. To hide your phone number, go to the settings.
  2. Then click on Mobile number.
Limit who can talk to you on Snapchat+
  1. Finally, uncheck the option “Let others find me using my mobile number.”
Limit who can talk to you on Snapchat+

Tip 5: Use a nickname and not your first and last name

On Snapchat, using a nickname is strongly recommended to dissociate your real identity and online social life.

Little advice, don’t be like me by using your real name or the same nickname for all social networks. Otherwise, it becomes easy to find you on Snapchat if someone knows your nickname on another network.

To change your nickname, go to Settings > My Account. Then tap on Name to change your name.

You can also change your username if it’s too revealing by tapping Change username.

Note: You can only change your username once a year. And you’d need to put in your password to make this change.

Thankfully, you can also remove your name from your profile by tapping Remove name below your name.

Limit who can talk to you on Snapchat+

Tip 6: Hide your location on the map

Even if it’s functional, it’s not always very reassuring to know that any of your friends can see where you are at any time. So I advise you to switch to Ghost Mode so no one can access your location. You can also either share your location with all your friends except certain people or not share your location except with only a few friends (whom you can trust).

Tip 7: And the most obvious advice: only accept friends you know.

It’s always tempting to want to have as many friends as possible on a social network. As a result, you feel popular, valued, and, sometimes, fulfilled. But it’s also potentially dangerous if you don’t know most of your “friends” on Snapchat, especially if you share content that could let someone know what neighborhood you live in, places you used to go, etc.

Just ask yourself this question: do I know more than 20 people to whom I can share the content I want?

Bonus tip: Turn off the See me in Quick Add option at Settings > Privacy Control. This option allows any user to find your nickname and add you.

Read also: What Is The Difference Between ‘Add Friend’ And ‘Accept Friend’ On Snapchat?

How to keep Camera Roll hidden from Snapchat Friends

  1. To hide items in Camera Roll from your friends, go to Camera Roll and select the items you want to hide from them.
How to keep Camera Roll hidden from Snapchat Friends
  1. Select Hide, the item next to Export, at the bottom left corner.
How to keep Camera Roll hidden from Snapchat Friends
  1. Select Move and the items will move to My Eyes Only.
How to keep Camera Roll hidden from Snapchat Friends
  1. Finish up by choosing to Delete or keep the originals from your Camera Roll. If you want to keep them, select Cancel.
How to keep Camera Roll hidden from Snapchat Friends
  1. Snapchat also says it doesn’t back up your Camera Roll to its servers.
  2. You’ll be taken to Memories when you swipe up on your Snapchat camera. Then, tap on Camera Roll, and you can see the following message “Your Camera Roll isn’t backed up by Snapchat.”
How to keep Camera Roll hidden from Snapchat Friends