Less-popular social media sites could be dangerous for your kids

From Snapchat to Instagram and Facebook, the mainstream social media sites are seeking new ways to try and protect kids while they’re online.”There’s a whole cascade of things that can happen behind that screen by someone who might be motivated to do you harm,” said managing partner of A Wired Family, Stephen Smith.Smith says it’s the less talked about sites, that some teens are gravitating towards that should raise signals for parents too. “Seventeen percent of area middle school kids have used Omegle and it’s the last place you’d want your child to be and certainly the last place you’d want your child to learn about sex is on Omegle,” Smith said.I tried to go to Omegle on my computer, but it was blocked by a Malware protection. Parents have the option to block these sites on computers at home, but it’s the cellphone that’s the problem. Once I was off the WiFi, I had access to the site. All a teen would have to do is start a chat and confirm they’re over 18 by checking two boxes, then they would be able to chat with strangers around the world.Once a predator has gained the trust of the child, they ask them to download an encrypted app like Line, Signal, WhatsApp or Secret.This prevents law enforcement from seeing what they’re doing and it’s difficult to track or intercept. While it sounds simple, smith says the number one thing parents can do is talk to their kids about how they plan to use their cellphones and set boundaries. “Never, ever allow them to take their phones in their bedroom. The majority of cases, the majority of cases where kids find themselves in trouble, it’s in their bedroom,” Smith said.Smith says 75% of children are allowed to bring their phones in their bedroom, and about 80% of those kids that do are on those devices at early morning hours.

From Snapchat to Instagram and Facebook, the mainstream social media sites are seeking new ways to try and protect kids while they’re online.

“There’s a whole cascade of things that can happen behind that screen by someone who might be motivated to do you harm,” said managing partner of A Wired Family, Stephen Smith.

Smith says it’s the less talked about sites, that some teens are gravitating towards that should raise signals for parents too.

“Seventeen percent of area middle school kids have used Omegle and it’s the last place you’d want your child to be and certainly the last place you’d want your child to learn about sex is on Omegle,” Smith said.

I tried to go to Omegle on my computer, but it was blocked by a Malware protection. Parents have the option to block these sites on computers at home, but it’s the cellphone that’s the problem. Once I was off the WiFi, I had access to the site. All a teen would have to do is start a chat and confirm they’re over 18 by checking two boxes, then they would be able to chat with strangers around the world.

Once a predator has gained the trust of the child, they ask them to download an encrypted app like Line, Signal, WhatsApp or Secret.

This prevents law enforcement from seeing what they’re doing and it’s difficult to track or intercept.

While it sounds simple, smith says the number one thing parents can do is talk to their kids about how they plan to use their cellphones and set boundaries.

“Never, ever allow them to take their phones in their bedroom. The majority of cases, the majority of cases where kids find themselves in trouble, it’s in their bedroom,” Smith said.

Smith says 75% of children are allowed to bring their phones in their bedroom, and about 80% of those kids that do are on those devices at early morning hours.