OMEGLE…SURE, INVITE THE STRANGER IN

omegle

Omegle is something else to possibly be concerned about when it comes to your kids and online safety.  Omegle is a social networking site that allows you to chat with a random stranger. I think you already know the answer to the question, “Is Omegle a good site for kids, tweens, and teenagers?”

“NO.”

Omegle is not necessarily new, it has been around since 2008 and they added video chat in 2009. Omegle’s popularity seems to be growing in 2013.

When you use Omegle, you do not provide your name or any other personally identifiable info unless you want to. We all know kids are prone to doing just that. Each person is known as “You” and “Stranger.”

REASONS NOT TO USE OMEGLE

  • Per the site’s policy, it is not for people under the age of 13 at all. If you are under 18, you should get your parents’ permission before using the site…yeah right. I am sure that is happening all over America.

  • Omegle tracks you. It tracks the time your chat began, the IP address of your computer and it assigns a unique ID tag to your computer. I guess this information could be helpful in trying to prevent spam or helpful to the police. Call me weird, but I don’t want to use a site where law enforcement may be needed just in case things go awry.

  • As with most social media sites these days, you can connect to Omegle using your Facebook account. Please know, depending on your settings, your Omegle chats can end up in your Facebook timeline for all of your friends to see. 
  • VIDEO CHAT. If you want to use the video chat feature, you must allow a direct connection between your computer and that of the stranger, really? If there is a stranger walking through your neighborhood, would you let him into your house to get a drink of water? Don’t willingly allow strangers to connect to your computer.

Please make sure your children steer clear of this site. Are they already using the site? You can snoop around in their computer to look for the history of websites they have gone to. With most modern browsers you can press and hold down the CTRL key and the H key (CTRL + H) and that will open up the history. However, many kids know how to delete the history.

You can ask them about Omegle. You can also using parental control software to monitor or block what your children do. However, nothing beats an aware, tech savvy (enough) parent with an open and honest relationship with their child. You can lock down their computer, phone, and tablet all you want, but that does not stop them from accessing Omegle or any other inappropriate site form a friend’s house. What typically will stop that is how you raised them.

One last thing, go to www.omegle.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the disclaimer. I’m guessing you will probably move on to some other site.

STAY SAFE.

STAY VIGILANT.

John L. Jones

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