Video Chat. Safe for Teens?

I can still remember being behind the times when one of my daughters began to communicate with a boy into the wee hours on the internet many years ago.  I didn’t realize it was happening, and that quite a relationship had developed even before they had officially begun to date.  He turned out to be a good guy, but I became much more saavy about technology after that.

The latest buzz I’m hearing from teens, is that they are increasingly using video chat with each other.  A recent study showed that 37% of teens are using video chat of some kind, and 27% record and upload video.  A PC Magazine online article written about this phenomenon can bring you up to speed so you are an informed parent.  The article also shares some advice from ZoneAlarm [a security software vendor] that you might want to pass along to your discuss with your son or daughter:  “First, any time you upload a video, mark it private and share the URL only with friends. Don’t attach too-personal information like your full name, address, or date of birth to videos. Always run up-to-date antivirus software. And avoid downloading alleged video software from unknown sites, as these can contain malware.”