Safe use of web cam
Have you got any advice on children´s use of webcams?
Mother of teens
Answer from Kids and Media’s advisor:
The webcam is a fun tool for communication with others, and the
conversations become more personal and vivid. At the same time it´s
important to talk to the children about what to do and what not to do
in front of a camera, and what to do if you experience something
Some parental advice on children´s use of webcams:
- Think through where you position the webcam. It can be wise to put it in open areas instead of putting it in the children´s rooms. This way it´s easier to keep an eye on the children´s Internet use.
- With teenagers in the house it can be wise to talk about responsible webcam use. Others can abuse personal pictures or video clips made with a webcam. Remember that pictures on the net can have a longer life than young people´s relationships.
- Talk with your child about how other people can make recordings of performances in front of the camera. Therefore, one should´t do anything in front of a webcam that one doesn´t want others to see afterwards.
- Talk to your child about what to do if strangers offer them gifts in exchange for photos, or wish to meet the child.
- An adult should accompany the child if he or she wants to meet anybody in person that they´ve met online.
- Invite your child to talk with you if he or she should experience anything uncomfortable and scary online.
- It can be a good idea to disconnect the camera when it´s not in use. If the child has downloaded and distributed music or films illegally from the net, they´ve also been involved in filesharing. With filesharing there´s a technical chance that others can access the computer and control it, and amongst other things activate the webcam. This way the viewer might see private situations without the person in front of the camera knowing about it. The best thing of course, would be to avoid illegal filesharing altogether, so that all firewalls can be activated. The computer will then be secure from intrusion.