Omegle is an online platform that allows strangers to communicate with one another via text or video. This platform has become more popular since the pandemic because people are spending more time at home and have to follow social distancing rules. In addition, more and more people are attending school or working on professional projects online, making it easier for them to meet new people online.
If your teen is interested in trying Omegle or you notice that they’ve been on the site, here are some important things you should know to ensure your child is safe while online.
Becoming Familiar with Omegle
It’s important to know that most people on Omegle communicate using the text option to connect with others who share similar interests. However, some people opt for video conversations. The people who connect with each other on Omegle are chosen at random.
Omegle also offers users the option of choosing their interests to be connected with people they have something in common with. These conversations are moderated, so Omegle administrators can see the conversations people are having and record these conversations if necessary.
Unmoderated Sections of Omegle
Omegle does feature an adult section designed for people over the age of 18. Technically, individuals younger than 13 years of age are not supposed to use Omegle. However, the 18 and over section of Omegle is for people who want to discuss adult content which is often sexual. This part of the social platform allows people to share videos that are not appropriate for children.
There is also a part of Omegle marked as ‘unmoderated.’ In this part of the site, people are freer to have racy conversations since there are no Omegle moderators in the chat room. Unfortunately, this often leaves room for pedophiles who groom children and convince children to meet with them in person. These predators may pose as teenagers or younger adults to appeal to a younger demographic.
More and more parents and legal experts warn that children, teens, and even adults can become the victims of direct or indirect sexual harassment, verbal and psychological abuse, exposure to explicit adult content, the temptation towards illegal actions (drug dealing masked as “fast income” for teenagers, prostitution, pornography, etc.), and more.
The unmoderated section of Omegle also includes scammers who will try to get users to share their personal information. This can lead to identity theft since your child could be tricked into giving hackers your address or credit card information.
Investigation journalists and worldwide media outlets are now focusing on Omegle, dubbed “the dark web but for everyone” by some of its users.
Keeping Your Child Safe
If you see that your child has been visiting the Omegle website, you can go to the website to get a feel for the type of conversations your teen has been having with others. In addition, you can change the security settings on your computer to prevent your child from accessing the site if you feel uncomfortable with what may go on there.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your teen about the dangers of talking to strangers online. Let your child know that while it’s nice to get to know people, they should never share personal details or private information with anyone online.
When to Take Legal Action
If your child or teenager has encountered predators or pedophiles online through the Omegle platform, you should get in touch with an Omegle sexual abuse lawyer right away. An attorney familiar with cyberbullying and online predators can give you the tools you need to keep your child safe while they’re online and how they can recognize when they are being groomed by a predator.
Be sure to take screenshots of any interaction your child has had on Omegle if you can. You can also look to see if you can find the people your teen has spoken to online on other social media sites.
It’s crucial to have proof that someone has asked your child to do something inappropriate or has bullied your child in any way. This can lead to clues about whether these people are safe. Take this evidence to a lawyer to see if you have a case. Your family may also be able to recover a settlement for pain and suffering depending on the degree of harassment or the nature of the messages your child received.