What is Omegle ?
Launched in 2008, Omegle is a free website that allows anyone who visits it to chat with strangers. A simple click of the mouse takes users to a virtual chat room where they are paired up with another random user waiting to chat under the handles “You” and “Stranger”.
What is Omegle ‘s List of Features?
A user can simply click on a button and be paired off immediately with a stranger for chatting. Text chats aren’t moderated by the team of Omegle.
A user has the opportunity to ‘walk away’ from the chat at any moment with a simple click of the mouse. Once an individual walks away, they can close the website out completely and stop chatting or be paired up with another stranger.
In addition to text chat, Omegle offers two other chat options – video chat and stealth topic based chat. Video chat provides users with the opportunity to engage in video and text chat. A “webcam” is required for this type of chat.
Stealth topic based chat is where a random question is given to two strangers and they are encouraged to talk about the topic. Questions are based off of suggestions from fellow users and can be silly and weird, such as ‘why do ladybugs have spots’, to more personal like ‘when did you lose your virginity’.
Omegle recently released an app that provides both video and text chat to individuals who have access to a smartphone or tablet. The format is the same, but it provides individuals with access to this service without requiring the use of a laptop or desktop computer.
What is Omegle ‘s List of Privacy and Security Concerns?
According to several resources on the matter, Nudity is one of the highest concerns when using the video option of Omegle Chat. While discouraged by the Omegle team, there is no active way to enforce the no nudity rule on the website. It is only in the hands of the user to sign out of the conversation by the click of the mouse, there is also no certainty whether a video encounter on Omegle is recorded and/or shared with other parties. Omegle does promise to try and monitor video chats 24/7 with ‘living, breathing humans’, but monitoring is limited.
There is little to no protection provided during text chats on Omegle. Users are encouraged with a written warning to not disclose personal information. However, there is a note that personal information can be disclosed at the discretion of the user.
Being a main hub for teens who are more than willing to divulge secrets with complete strangers, the website has a notorious rumor about being a haven for sexual predators looking for a younger audience.
Omegle also provides people with the opportunity to save existing chats. If personal information is shared, users could take saved chats and use them to embarrass, humiliate, or blackmail a child or teenager.