This could be unnerving for parents of teens – finding their kids' friends "hanging out" in the house virtually, via Webcam – but it looks as if ColumbiaJournalist.org found some parents who are handling it well. "Once dismissed as a potentially lewd distraction for the tech-savvy, video chatting has increasingly insinuated itself into American homes. While no firm numbers are available to document its rise, interviews with parents, children and college students suggest that as technological barriers have all but disappeared, the practice has become as easy as making a phone call and, for some, just as common." The article leads with a mom who heard a tiny voice coming from the breakfast table ask, "Is that your mom?" and finding out her daughter who was eating breakfast in front of her laptop was actually having breakfast with her friend on screen – they were using their Webcams. You do know that many new computers come with built-in Webcams, right? Parents need to know that because there are also very negative, uses of Webcams by youth (see "Kids & Webcams: Disturbing story" and this about live Webcam chat site Stickam). But there are just as many great uses for Webcams. One college student told the reporter, for example, that all her friends videochat with their parents back home – who wouldn't want to see their distant children when they're talking with them?!
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
- We ‘like’ faces in social media: Study
- Yik Yak update: How the app came to geo-fence off US schools
- Smart safety: YouTube’s ‘neighborhood watch program’
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years
- Safety through mindfulness: Watch ‘The Science of Character’
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media