Access to free webcam chat for kids is a reality today. Nonetheless, growing concerns of parents and teachers about the safety of using chat rooms is not only justified, but also encouraged.
The biggest reason for the virtual world to become so popular is that everyone is welcome. And I mean everyone. What started in the old days as AOL chatters, IRC nerds, and BBS geeks, is now an almost non-existent concept. Chat rooms still exist, but not the same way they used to. Now, the first thing that comes to ones mind is creepy people using webcam chat sites to find young victims to harass.
Call it a need or the drastically changing lifestyle of people, instant messaging and chat rooms have become a part and parcel of life. While I’m not here to justify the logic and rationality behind chatting online, I can surely say that somewhere the real intent has lost its significance.
We’re aware of chat rooms for singles on the Internet. The same concept eventually transferred over to chat groups, message boards for unique topics, and also chat rooms for kids. While I’m not raising fingers against the huge advantage kids and children have due to the presence of Internet, I do want to highlight the dangers, that kids can be exposed to.
There is a general acceptance among parents about the growing importance of technology in schools but a fear lurks at the back of their minds – what if children are exposed to unwanted elements and materials through chat rooms?
Kids love entertainment and spending time with their friends. By chatting, kids can stay connected to their friends for a longer duration. There are other advantages of sharing studies and staying connected when kids are away from their school friends. More than this, there seems to be no important use of online chat rooms.
Potential Problems in Webcam Chat Rooms
As a small reminder of what usually happens when someone is a victim of cyberbullying, here’s the most common patterns in which the offender(s) can victimize your child.
- In the case of singular predators that are after children, they will actually learn how kids talk, what they talk about and try to imitate them.
- They will then pose as kids and enter chat rooms with fake display photos and names.
- Once they are set, they will seek their target and begin harassing him/her. Remember that it always starts subtle, usually with a day or two of apparently a friendly banter.
- Here they will find out which school the child goes to, where they hang out, their Facebook ids, etc.
- Then they will either propose to meet somewhere, or the offender will simply start oppressing the child.
- They will tell the child to keep quiet and threaten to release any vital information if the child has told them any.
- The other problem with webcam chat rooms, or just about any chat room in general, is that there will always be bullies there. More often than not, they will also be children.
- Children can be particularly nasty online, because their identity is safe and they don’t directly see what happens to the victim.
- A simple poll to find out who the ugliest girl in school is, or flaming someone (a type of argument that is usually aimed at humiliating the opponent), acting friendly with someone till they spill some personal secrets and then outing them to the public, or even ignoring someone completely (it’s much easier to do online) are just a few of the things that can happen.
We can’t, and shouldn’t, impose too many restrictions on kids. But, we can ensure that our children are using webcam chat rooms that are safe for them. The ideal solution for not letting your kids fall in the trap is by finding free live webcam chat rooms that follow all safety rules for keeping threats to child security at bay.
There are too few sites that authorize and moderate free webcam chat for kids. It is almost impossible to do that for hundreds of people at the same time. In the end, the whole burden falls on the parents themselves.
Here is a list of guidelines to have your children enjoy a relatively safe chatting experience.
- Never show any part of your name to the other chatters.
- Never give any kind of personal information like age, address, Facebook id, and phone number, no matter what anyone says.
- Never click on any link someone shares over the chat.
- Chat moderators usually have a special spelling to their names (most times their names begin with ‘@’). You can contact them directly if you’re feeling uncomfortable because of someone.
- Stay clear of people who directly start by asking your age/sex/location (or a/s/l for short). I’ve found that most of these chatters are just looking for anyone below the legal age (and opposite sex) to harass.
The only advantage of chat rooms with video facility is that kids can be aware of the physical appearance of the person interacting on the other side. But there’s no authenticity of a person online as anyone can fake their profile very subtly and easily. A 50 year old man can appear to be a 20 year old female and we can’t be aware of it.
Parents must follow the model code of conduct established by cyber crime investigating agencies to ensure safety, as it can help them be aware of the potential threats to their kids.