Who Are Your Children REALLY Talking To?
Picture this…..It’s 4.30pm the kids are home from school, and you can hear your son or daughter singing up a storm or dancing in their room. How wonderful, they are so creative! Later on they are talking to a friend via their iPod sitting on the couch, technology is wonderful, if only we had this growing up, no cueing up for the phone and being told to get off after 5 mins.
How would you feel if I told you that your child was actually talking to a complete stranger or to 20 strangers or live streaming themselves out to the world, and were having middle aged men watching them and commenting on them…all live. Your child may also talking back to the middle aged men… live. The middle aged men are asking your child to perform in different ways, handstands, particular moves and they are complimenting your child on their sexiness. Some of the viewers are bullying and telling your child they are ugly. I’ve seen all of this on YouNow, where anyone can view live streaming video from anyone who is broadcasting, go take a look and come back you don’t even need to download the app.
Every afternoon in Australia and around the world many thousands of children some as young as 5 years old are broadcasting themselves out to the web, and their parents probably don’t know or may think they are only playing a game, practicing a routine or talking to a school friend.
Every Computer and Mobile Device has a camera.
Video streaming and video uploading is the latest thing. Yes it’s fun but your child’s iPod/iPad or smart phone now has the ability to be broadcasting your child out to the world. Right now your child may be the “Star” in their own daily live video show. Not only could their audience be both adults and children watching them every time they broadcast, but they could be downloading and saving those broadcasts or sharing them on to other strangers. The comments on their video might be encouraging but they also maybe very creepy or even cruel.
Who are your children performing for, and who are they really talking to? Many apps now have video uploading and some apps now have live video streaming. These apps may also have video sharing so that your child’s video could wind up on other social media apps like Facebook, Vine, Instagram or Twitter or downloaded privately to be shared in closed online groups.
If your child has use of any internet connect device with a camera, be sure of who they are talking to, and where the video of themselves is being broadcast. Who is watching your child?
What Parents Need To Know
- Does your child’s mobile device have a video camera?
- What apps have access to that camera? Check Settings-Privacy-Camera
- Does your child have any Lip Sync Karaoke style Apps like Musical.ly or Smule, and are they broadcasting publicly?
- Do they have their own YouTube Channel, and is it public?
- Make sure your children know to come to you if they ever get a message from a stranger.
- Set rules for taking video/photos and sharing these.
- Are the privacy settings enabled on messaging apps (see my manual for instructions)
- Have you approved all your child’s friends on message apps like FaceTime, Messenger and Skype?
- You can disable the camera or other apps on Apple mobile devices via Settings-General-Restrictions (use an unguessable password and don’t lose it!)
- Make sure younger children only use internet connected devices with you nearby.
Apps to watch out for.
- YouNow Live Video Stream
- Apple FaceTime
- Facebook Messenger Video Chat
- Facebook Live Stream
- Snapchat Video Chat
- Musical.ly Lip Sync Video
- Kik Messenger Video Chat
- Skype Video Chat
- YouTube Live Stream
- Instagram Video
My Manual “Keeping Kids Safe Online” has settings for all the most popular messaging apps which need to be enabled for safe use.