How To Turn on Ghost Mode on Snapchat

Posted by Jamie on November 16, 2017

Snapchat ghost mode is a privacy option that keeps your location private. Since Snap Maps was introduced, there have been some serious concerns about just how much data the network has and what is accessible by third parties. Ghost Mode is a way to stop your location being seen while using either. Today I’m going to cover who to turn on Ghost Mode on Snapchat and give you some reasons why you should do it right now.

In typical Silicon Valley style, Snap Maps was heralded as a new way to interact with others on Snapchat. It features a map of your area and icons of all the people who have taken a snap. Those icons show where the snap was taken and then a link to the snap and on to your profile. What could go wrong?

Every time you use Snapchat with Snap Maps enabled, you appear on the map. While you can not use the app while you’re out and about, that defeats the object. We know that the social networks themselves always know where we are and what we are up to but do we really want everyone else to know too? At best it is a little creepy. At worst, it is a significant privacy risk.

Ghost Mode on Snapchat

Ghost Mode is a concession by Snapchat to all those people who don’t want their every snap to appear on the map and don’t want to mess around with permissions and suchlike on Snap Maps. Snap Maps is an opt-in service, so if you never want to use the feature, you don’t have to.

If you have tried it and don’t want your every move advertised to other users, you can do a couple of things. You can set up Ghost Mode when you first log into Snap Maps. You can specify who can see your whereabouts when you use Snapchat or you can elect to use Ghost Mode when you want to.

On first opening Snap Maps:

  1. Open the Snapchat camera screen.
  2. Pinch to zoon in the center to access the map.
  3. Select to allow Snap Maps access to your location if you want to and hit Next.
  4. Set your other preferences as you see fit until you see Find Your Friends. Set this to Only Me (Ghost Mode) and select Next.
  5. Select Finish to save your choices.

This sets Snapchat to not share your location when you use the app or when using Snap Maps. There is a middle ground, Select Friends. This allows you to select certain friends and allow them to see where you are at any given time while using Snapchat.

If you originally allowed location services to test out Snap Maps and no longer want everyone to know where you are when using the app, you can enable Ghost Mode afterwards. It will turn off location and remove your last position from the map.

Changing privacy settings in Snap Maps:

  1. Open the Snapchat camera screen.
  2. Pinch to zoon in the center to access the map.
  3. Select the cog icon in the top right to access Settings.
  4. Toggle Ghost Mode to on.

You can also change this setting from within Snapchat itself if you prefer.

  1. Open Snapchat and select your Bitmoji in the top left.
  2. Select the cog icon in the top right to access Settings.
  3. Scroll to ‘See My Location’ and select it.
  4. Toggle Ghost Mode off.

The effect is exactly the same whichever way you do it. Your last Snap Maps location is removed and location services turned off.

Why turn off location in Snapchat?

You don’t have to turn off location services in Snapchat if you don’t want to but there are some very good reasons why you might want to.

Theft. Why would you advertise to the world that you’re not home? If you’re on vacation somewhere taking pictures of the area and someone is watching, they know you’re not home and can do whatever they like while you’re not there.

Tracking. You don’t have to be a super-spy or government agent to be tracked. Jealous partners, employers or random people can track where you go and when you’ll be there. Why would you do that?

Stalking and harassment. If you’re unfortunate enough to have the attention of a stalker or psychotic ex, you don’t want to advertise where you are at a certain time.

Child protection. It should be obvious why children or vulnerable Snapchat users shouldn’t use location services and immediately turn on Ghost Mode on in Snapchat. Too many headlines and too many stories could begin right here.

Snap Maps may seem like a great idea but I’m not sure it is. If you like and use it, great. If you don’t like it, at least you now know how to claw back just a little bit of your privacy.

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