Webcams have always been an area of concern for parents with online kids. Webcams can affect the safety and privacy of your children, but a website called Stickam poses an even greater risk.
There are plenty of webcam sharing websites such as TinyChat and Chatroulette, but Sitckam is a little different. Chatroulette and Tinychat offers anonymous chat features, Chatroulette being randomized andTinyChat gives you a choice of what chatroom you desire. Stickam can do both of those tasks, but one portion of the website is very concerning.
Stickam offers guests to the site the ability to just watch other members in video chatrooms, but you will eventually have to register in order to use your webcam on the website. Part of the registration information is your birthday (for age) and your zip code. This allows Stickam to find video chatrooms and webcams within a 5 mile radius to your zip code. Not only does it allow for you to search for users local to you, but also by age. It becomes clear how this feature could be exploited by sexual predators or even identity thieves.
Sitckam is clearly a risky website for your child or teen to be on if they do not understand internet safety protocol, but to further reinforce the point that Stickam does not have your child’s best interest in mind, take a look at the video chat rooms available. “Hot ‘n’ Cute”, “Singles”, and “Hash_Bash” are just a few of a large many of the chat rooms available for your children to access, even just as a guest.
Sex, drugs, and possibly even crime can await your children on this site. Sexual predators could find your child locally, identity thieves could ask your child for personal information, a number of unsavory situations could arise from this website, not to mention mere exposure to negative elements of society and age-inappropriate material such as sex and pornography.
Online video chatting websites in general pose a risk to your child’s online safety and their learning experience and development of what they are exposed to/experience online. Online video chatting websites, especially Stickam, should be blocked, if not severely monitored. A few tips on how to ensure your children are safe from and knowledgeable about online video chatting websites is provided by Internet safety expert Mary Kay Hoal:
- Let your kids know that you know these types of sites exist. There’s no reason to rouse your child’s curiosity to go check out the site, so unless they already know about it, it’s not necessary to tell them the name the site.
- Share with them that you know that what goes on in these sites is very often inappropriate, wrong, sometimes illegal and harmful to them.
- Set the ground rules that the family has a “no video-chatting policy”. Period.
- Then take advantage of these family-safety software, (our suggestion is Safe Eyes)