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Author: Julia Alberts
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Social Networking with Live Webcams; Danger or not?

A prominent problem with kids nowadays is that they are used to, or even addicted to, partaking anything and everything about their personal lives with the entire cyber world through social networking sites.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg as lately, through the cheap availability and extensive usage of webcams, kids are giving strangers, from all over the world, an opening right into their bedrooms. This most likely creates an entire new level of peril that parents must be prepared to protect their offspring from.

To begin with, let’s concisely describe what a webcam is; these innovative pieces of technology are basically video cameras, typically linked straight to a computer, that direct imageries to the Internet.

These imageries enclose rather diverse categories of visuals that can be still photos, a sequence of imageries shown in sequence, or simply a streaming video.

Webcams come in many sizes and shapes but are usually small. This, along with their cheap prices and relative uncomplicated use, makes them widely reachable and manageable kids and teenagers.

To depict the utter ease of using these webcams we believe a general illustration will suffice; in maximum cases, all one has to do is plug the webcam into his or her computer and through a guided procedure install the software!

Once that is done he or she is all set to video chat with any other webcam owner. Most of the times there is also an option of posting a link to the webcam at any of the numerous webcam sites on the Internet. Anyone who visits the site gains the ability to view images from your webcam.

The real danger that is posed through the webcams, specifically to teenagers, is that even users who do not post their webcam links on any of the sites out there might be exposed to the danger of unwanted and unrecognized intrusion; each webcam, along with its software, is assigned a Web address that can effortlessly be located through search engines.

To avoid such unwanted intrusions typically each webcam is issued a password that must be entered in order to access the webcam, but many operators, unaware of any such password, fail to alter the original passwords that the webcam came with.

This allows intruders, who are aware of the original product password, to access the webcam through exogenous sources. There are also Trojan horse and malicious viruses that permit hackers to initiate the webcam without the user's awareness.

Webcams present an acute and chronic peril to children and the teenagers because they potentially offer a direct graphic connection with online predators.

These are the kind of people who scan webcam sites to locate children and teenagers in possession of webcams and mostly try to persuade or sometimes even charm the children or teenagers to expose themselves on camera in altercation for monetary or tangible gifts or benefits.

This whole issue might not seem too tangible or applicable in reality but the fact of the matter is that such cases have shown up in real life.

What might be a blameless and innocent bit of fun for the child, such as hopping in pajamas in front of the webcam, could be sexually exciting for a predator. Hence the children if not given the proper guidance are open to risk at all times when they are using webcams.

What’s ironic is that even with all the possible dangers of webcams depicted above Webcams are still being used on various social networks sites in rather precarious ways. One such site is called that permits users above 16 years of age to webcam and chat with any random user all over the world who logs onto the site.

It’s likely to be the least secretive and the most inexplicable of all social sites on the Internet. For example, on this absurd site the rules clearly state that operators should essentially be older than sixteen years of age and should be appropriately dressed, but what's curious is that the site does not take any actions to enforce and implement these so called rules.

What's even more peculiar is that the site does not even offer a privacy dogma that users can view or agree to let alone stand by.

At the very worst, Chat Roulette has the potential to link children to sexual predators or even child molesters.

Chat Roulette is fundamentally a webcam-interlinking social grid that is oblivious to the concepts of "friends" or "followers". All one needs to do is Log onto the site, click "play," and he or she instantly gets coordinated with an unidentified person from anywhere around the world.

Both the parties are able to see each other through web cam. It allows teenagers to video chat with random outsiders all over the world, which is indeed a very frightening prospect.


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