I hadn’t until a teenager mentioned it in a comment on another article.I’ve also had several requests from concerned parents asking for a review.Omegle is a website that allows you to chat with a random stranger.
Omegle is not okay for kids – unless you are okay with your kids chatting with complete strangers. Omegle has been around since 2008, with video chat added in 2009.When you use Omegle you do not identify yourself through the service – chat participants are only identified as “You” and “Stranger”.From there however, anything goes – certainly a chat participant may decide to give their name, location, age and other personal information.I tried it a few times by clicking on the link to start chatting with a stranger.The first thing I was asked was “asl” – meaning what is my age, sex and location. On the second test, I ended up in a brief chat with a young man, a software developer from India.
Well, that is what he said but that’s the thing – who really knows?
Another Be Web Smart reader did a test and shared the conversation with me: A quick Google search helped me to answer this question.
A few clicks and I found text excerpts and videos on You Tube of teens sharing their stories of Omegle encounters. In case you’ve read this far and are still not quite convinced that Omegle is a bad idea, here are a few facts about privacy and how the Omegle service works:1.
One video was a teen girl’s story of how she met up with an Omegle chat buddy in person without her parents’ knowledge. The Omegle homepage clearly states that the service is not for those under 13: “Do not use Omegle if you are under 13.
Another particularly sicko video showed how someone scared teens on an Omegle video chat with his face made up similar to the Joker from the Batman movie (R. If you are under 18, use it only with a parent/guardian’s permission.” I’m guessing that not too many 16 year olds are asking mom or dad for the okay.2.
You can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests.