Chat sites like Skype are fun and convenient but be sure to procede carefully and don't expose yourself to danger!
By Jessica D., Teen Reporter, BGC of Garden Grove (Calif.)
The Dangers Of Video Chats!
Skype, Tiny Chat, ooVoo, etc. -- all these are great forms of video chats and are great for ommunicating with friends and families from afar. However many teens need to understand the dangers. Don't abuse this face-friendly technology by using it for meeting strangers or (gasp!) engaging in inappropriate acts.
Be carefull in these chats and don't give out personal information, such as your full name and where you live, because the person with whom you may be speaking may then use this information against you. Teens may think that they have everything under control but there can be dangerous consequences from the strangers whom you may talk to and what you may do on video during some of these chats. So here are some safety tips:
- Ask a parent for permission to use video chats
- Never give out your personal information!
- Avoid strangers!
- Don’t do anything that you will regret in the future or that can be taken a snapshot of or recorded if you know it’s inappropriate.
Remeber, the number one rule is to always be safe while using the Internet! Even be wary of friends asking you to do crazy things online! Think safety!
By Jessica B., Teen Reporter, BGC of Northwest Georgia
Oovoo, Gmail, Ustream, Skype and other types of video chatting systems are used by people all across the world to communicate directly to each other. Some people use it to keep in touch with their loved ones from another country or even communicate with their friends.
Others use it for business, online dating, and school related activities. All of these things are a wonderful way to keep in touch with a person, but it can also be dangerous.
Online predators prey when they have the opportunity to interact with teens who aren't media safety savvy and they often misrepresent themselves. Predators prey on the weak and seduce their victims into doing things that are inappropriate, illegal and dangerous.
This can be really dangerous and wreck young lives -- especially when predators seduce and record what the teen is doing and post it on other websites.
The bright side is that parents can put restrictions on who their kids talks to and for how long on a lot of these video chats. Be sure to talk with your parents before you start video chatting!
There’s nothing wrong with using a video system but it all depends on how you use it. Enjoy the cyber connection that you have with others but do it safely!