Social platforms allow us to interact with friends and family differently. They even help us to transform strangers into friends over time. Apart from the common social apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, do you know of "Omegle"?
Although not many parents know about it, Omegle has been around for some time. It's mostly common among kids. However, many people have recently raised concerns about the safety of this platform.
It hasn't implemented adequate measures to ensure kids get the protection they deserve when accessing it. This article gives you a guide about Omegle and whether it's safe for your kids or not.
Part 1. What Is Omegle?
Omegle is a free website that allows kids to connect with anonymous people worldwide and give them the chance to have a one-on-one chat via text or video. One can access this website through a mobile phone or desktop browser.
Unlike most social apps, Omegle.com doesn't prompt you to create a profile or ask for login details before accessing it. When conversing with a stranger on Omegle, it displays two screens. The first is yours whereas the other is for the stranger you're talking with. The app also comes with a text chat area that allows instant messaging.
Part 2. How Does Omegle Work?
Upon visiting Omegle's homepage, you can access various chat options. Let's see how each of these options works.
Adult: After clicking the "Adult" button, a pop-up screen displays telling you that you're about to access a site with sexual material. It also states that the "Adult" section can only be used by individuals 18 years or more.
Unmoderated: This section isn't moderated and only warns you that you may encounter content with sexual behavior. Once you click on this section, it redirects you to a dual-webcam area that asks you to choose the straight sex or gay sex option.
Video: This section has two webcam screens (for the user and the stranger). Although Omegle argues that it monitors this section regularly, it's still possible for kids to get exposed to adult content or even predation.
Text: This feature allows users to share text-based messages. During Omegle chat, the users can save the conversation and create shareable links.
Spy Mode: This section allows kids to ask a question and observe as two strangers discuss the question.
College Student Chat: This section allows college students to connect and chat with their colleagues. One needs to provide their student email address to get started.
Part 3. Is Omegle Safe for Kids?
Omegle comes with a lot of safety concerns for kids. This is mainly because its anonymous users can access this platform without having to provide proper login credentials. Some of the main safety concerns about Omegle for kids include the following.
Omegle has given room to many predators who want to exploit kids. Some irresponsible adults can access this website pretending to be kids and develop a friendship with real kids.
After gaining their trust, they may trick them out of the platform and sexually exploit them by sharing creepy images and videos. Some may even request face-to-face meetings with unsuspecting Omegle kids.
Although Omegle is an "anonymous" platform, kids aren't afraid to share their personal information like:
Place of residence
The school they attend, or
Date of birth.
It's very sensitive to disclose such information since you may never know whose hands it may fall. Hackers or child predators may use this sensitive information to exploit Omegle teens.
Exposure to Creepy Material
The platform never filters the information shared on it. Therefore, children of 13 years and below become exposed to sensitive content that may significantly affect their minds when chatting on Omegle. Creepy material such as images or videos of people engaging in sexual acts is never good for a child's morality. Many parents have also shown their concern about this platform.
Access to Private Information
Omegle hasn't invested in strong servers that can keep everyone safe. The website is highly vulnerable, and attackers can use this opportunity to access chat records and harvest a lot of vital information from users.
Hackers may use the platform to discover someone's real name, exact location, and even social media handles. They can conduct phishing attacks, fraud, or even online stalking with this.
Part 4. Does Omegle Take Any Action to Keep Kids Safe?
Some of the actions taken by Omegle to keep kids safe include the following.
Before accessing the platform, Omegle provides a button for users to click to confirm that they are over 18. Although this seeks to prevent underage kids from accessing the website, others can still do it because the platform never asks for further details to prove someone's actual age after they click the button.
Warning about Talking to Strangers
Omegle warns its users that there is a high chance of chatting with anonymous people upon accessing the platform. Apart from this warning, the website hasn't put in place any measures to ensure people register with their correct details.
The platform also warns kids about the high number of predators that may come after them. It urges everyone to be careful. Beyond that, the platform hasn't implemented any strategies to minimize the number of predators.
As a safety concern, Omegle says that it has put adequate measures in place to ensure that all video communications across the platform remain monitored. However, there's still evidence that kids can still engage in immoral video chats without the website sounding any alarm.
Part 5. How to Protect Kids from Dangers by Omegle?
Since we've established that Omegle isn't entirely safe for kids, you can protect them in the following ways.
1. Have an Open Conversation with Kids
As a parent or guardian, you must have control over your kid's use of Omegle. You should maintain an open conversation with them to know what they are viewing or discussing with the "anonymous."
Since most kids are eager to use this website (due to its hype), you can openly state the dangers that may come with it. First, you need to ask them whether they've accessed the website before. You can advise them on the people not to talk with if at all they insist on accessing the website.
2. Use Parental Control Software- FoneWatcher
A parental control software may help limit your child's reach to Omegle. This software enables you to monitor every activity your kid does on their phone and take appropriate actions. One of the best parental control software in the market currently is FoneWatcher, best parental control software.
This monitoring software works on both Android and iOS devices; hence it won't be difficult to track your kid's phone activities. You'll only need to access your kid's phone once to install FoneWatcher. After that, you can monitor every activity on their phone through a web dashboard provided by this software.
Features of FoneWatcher to Protect Kids on Cyber
The following are some features that make FoneWatcher the best parental control app to protect kids on cyber.
3. Develop Hobbies with Kids Together
Another way to protect kids from dangers by Omegle is to find other things to keep their minds occupied. Find time to be with your child and ask them what they love doing in their free time. Engage them in that activity and encourage them to do it repeatedly.
Such activities could include playing music on the piano, singing, soccer, basketball, or storytelling. Once your kid finds their best hobby, they'll not have time to waste on dangerous websites like Omegle. You can also introduce incentives to keep your kid attached to their hobby even when you're not around.
Omegle has put in place various safety actions for kids which don't seem to work. Probably, this only aims to deceive people that the website is safe for kids while, in a real sense, it isn't. As a parent or guardian, it's best to find ways to protect kid from Omegle.
We strongly advise you to use parental control software like FoneWatcher. With this app, you can monitor every activity on your child's phone. FoneWatcher is easy to download and install. To get started with FoneWatcher, you can sign up here. You can also view this free demo to learn how it works.