Predators use video chat sites to prey on kids - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Predators use video chat sites to prey on kids

In an age of video chat rooms, webcams, and social media sites, parents may have a hard time keeping up with what their kids get into online.

Peer-to-peer websites like Omegele, Chat Roulette, and Stick Cam can allow your children to view porn in the making, or even become the subject.

"Once you enter into this peer-to-peer webcam room, you basically sign off that you're making your webcam available, and if someone is using software to record that, you're basically signing your life away," says Doug Gallucio with the Charleston Police Department. He adds those web cam sessions can be recorded and posted onto anonymous porn websites, and it's hard to track down the predator.

Gallucio says he's concerned parents aren't familiarizing themselves with today's technology and have no clue what kids are doing on their computers behind closed doors. "Don't just go out and buy the $600 computer with all the bells and whistles, webcam built in, set up wireless network, hand it to your kid and then have no idea what your kid is doing."

Barbara Melton is a licensed therapist who says she deals with kids who have gotten into some serious trouble online.

"Kids go online all the time, pretend to be older, lie about their age because 'it's cool'. They say more information than they should and people will prey on them," says Melton.

She says the best thing parents can do is talk with their kids about it.

Gallucio says it's not a bad idea to take it a step further. "There is software out there that can be used to track keystrokes, emails, photographs and movies kids are looking at."

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.