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Popular internet site is no place for kids PDF Print E-mail

By Jon Bruning

Nebraska Attorney General

Protecting kids has been my long time goal, both personally and professionally. As Attorney General, I’ve pushed hard for tougher penalties for those who use the Internet to prey on our children.

Unfortunately, online predators continue to find opportunities in the anonymity of the Internet. 

Recently, our office has received information on an increasingly popular Web site that potentially exposes children to sexually explicit live acts–chatroulette.com.

Here’s how it works. Chatroulette.com randomly pairs users in live video chats using Web cameras. No login or registration is required before young users are connected visually to a total stranger. Participants can click “next” and be randomly connected to another person.

During a recent investigation in Texas, almost half of the randomly selected users exposed themselves or conducted sexually explicit acts on camera. This is no place for your kids.

The Web site offers no oversight, no control and no protections for children. Site users are supposed to be at least 16 years old, but the rule is not clearly enforced–which means parents must step in to protect their kids. 

Talk to your kids about this Web site and the potential dangers of Web camera use.

Kids can get in over their heads while online. They may not realize visiting a Web site can make them vulnerable to sexual predators. 

Make sure your children know they can talk to you about their online experiences. If they have been exposed to sexually explicit images, remarks or acts; make a report to the site manager and your Internet provider.

  We all need to do our part to protect our children from online predators. Remind children to never give out personal information or agree to a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet on the Internet. 

And never allow kids to use Web cameras in their bedrooms.

For more information on keeping your kids safe online, visit www.safekids.org or our Web site at www.ago.ne.gov.