The internet is a dangerous place especially for kids who are not tech savvy enough to realize a potential threat lurking on the web. Skype is a free video chat and instant messaging service widely used for family and friends to keep in touch with each other. Parents and kids often use the service as it was intended, but sometimes kids and parents get a rude shock.
Skype users have been affected by such items as a video of a naked person, inappropriately touching themselves, tasteless messages sent to young unsuspecting individuals, and compromised personal information. Online safety is a priority to keep both children and parents out of harm’s way.
Skype Safety Tip #1
Always monitor your child while they are using Skype. Know who your child is chatting with and make sure nothing inappropriate is happening in the chat room. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that the computer or tablet being used is in a common room of the home.
Skype Safety Tip #2
Make sure personal information is kept private by updating privacy settings. First, make sure to use a long, unique password that uses a combination of numbers, letters and characters to prevent the account from being hacked. Next, update privacy settings on Skype to limit communications and protect your private information. Teach kids not to put personal information in a Skype profile because some of it could be made public.
Skype Safety Tip #3
Teach kids about “stranger danger” and what to do if they are approached out in the real world and what do to if they are approached online by a stranger. Teach children to tell a trusted adult immediately if they are approached by a stranger on Skype or any other internet chat service.
Skype Safety Tip #4
Protect your computer by making sure an antivirus or anti-malware program is installed. Skype users can be subject to viruses and malware that can cause computers to run slowly, corrupt data, and cause vulnerabilities.
Skype Safety Tip #5
Report any incidents to local authorities. Take a screen shot of the chat and save everything of importance to give to police. This includes the username of the other party, the time and date of the conversation, and any other pertinent details about the conversation. The incident will be investigated.