Growing up we used to spend hours prank calling people we knew and also calling completely random numbers. The best calls were when you got someone on the line that got all mad and reacted in a way that made us want to call that person every five minutes forever. We just needed “stimulation.”
Then we grew up. Just in time for caller ID and no more prank phone calls. Back then, the telephone was the only technology we had access to, other than walkie talkies and hacking CB radios. Today is a whole new era.
All along we were told “not to talk to strangers.” It was the stranger that was strange and most likely to hurt you. Since then, “stranger danger” has been rebuffed by many. However new technologies are bringing back the danger in the stranger.
Your 12 year old daughter chatting in a park or online with a 35 year old stranger isn’t good. Chatting with that same 35 year old with a webcam is a disaster that will happen.
Then comes Chatroulette.
“Parents need to know that Chatroulette allows anyone with a webcam and Internet connection to instantly video chat with any other visitor anywhere in the world. Even if you don’t have a web cam, you can still use the site and view the other people using it. All you do is go to the site’s homepage, click a button to sync your webcam, and you are instantly connected randomly with other users.”
1. Talk to your kids about sites like these and the risks they pose.
2. Discuss both the good and potential bad intentions someone may have when on a site like this.
3. Explain how the anonymity of a site like this can motivate people to do and say things that aren’t socially acceptable in public.
4. Communicate to them that adults have a way of extracting information from minors and can manipulate them into saying and doing things they may later regret.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Webcam Spying on The CW New York.