Should I allow my child to video chat?

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Should I allow my child to video chat?

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There are a lot of different sites out there right now that allow video chatting with strangers. I can name a few, but they will go away and new ones will replace them. A site called, "Chat Roulette" another one called, "Tiny Chat," which sounds so innocent and cute. It's not moderated. It's not innocent and cute. All of these sites allow people to meet other people. Some people say they use it to test out their foreign language skills. Some people say they just want to meet other people. The problem is because it is not moderated. It's sort of like a lottery system, you have no idea who is going to be on the other side. You have no idea what your kids are being exposed to. There is actually a real case where girls were at a party, they were in their room, and they went on to one of these sites. They got a little goofy and the guy asked them to expose themselves. They did it and thought it was over and didn't think anything of it. Except for the guy, actually captured the footage of the video chat, went back through the system, found the girls' email address, and started blackmailing her digitally. He got her to send more video of her exposing herself, she hoped it would go away, and it got worse. She finally told her parents, and they were able to actually catch the guy. That's a case where the story actually had a good ending. I don't want this happening to anybody's kids. You need to have the talk with them now. All of those video chat sites, off limits. No good can come from kids being on these sites that have no adult moderation.

View Theresa M. Payton's video on Should I allow my child to video chat?...

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Theresa M. Payton

National Cyber Security Expert

Theresa Payton is a well-known and highly respected national authority on cybersecurity, e-crime and fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. She has over twenty years of advanced business and security technology expertise and leadership at the highest levels of government and in the financial services industry, including being the first woman to serve as Chief Information Officer at the White House.  She is a wife and mother to three fabulous and fun kids.  She is also the co-author of the newly released book Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? and the founder of the S.A.F.E. Kids initiative - a classroom-based, digital safety program.

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