If you click "allow," you'll see your picture in the bottom box. If you don't strike up an immediate conversation with the first person you see, you can press Next to go to the next person--kind of like spinning a roulette wheel.
Jeff Dess, an Atlanta-based prevention specialist with Cobb County Schools and author of Turn Up The Music: Prevention Strategies To Help Parents Through The Rap, Rock, Pop And Metal Years, has seen cases of elementary and middle school kids using Chatroulette and similar video chat rooms.
He warns parents that sites like these are inappropriate for children because "you don't know who you're chatting with and there is no supervision." Unlike most social-networking sites, there is no requirement to sign in and there are no profiles. Dess said that a conversation is more effective than a technological solution.
Rather than straight up person-to-person video calls like Apple’s Face Time, Facebook Messenger or the recently introduced Whats App feature, Kik has added a less intrusive video chat option for its 300 million-plus registered users, with support for groups of up to six.
While some group video calling features stuff talking heads onto a screen, essentially forcing participants to either drop what they are doing to take part or get off the line, Kik said it has carefully created an additional layer that lives above the chat conversation and is accessible to all, even when people are out and about or otherwise unable to switch their video on.
On a Windows machine, you can open up the device manager, click on Imaging devices, right click on the line for your integrated camera and select disable--do not select uninstall unless you want to completely remove the software that operates the camera.
If you have a parental control filtering program you can also block but, for most families, your first line of defense should be to talk with your kids.
I saw a couple of young women who also quickly dismissed me as a candidate for a video chat.
On a couple of occasions, I saw people who hung around long enough to start a conversation either through the Webcam microphone or by text chat.
I got out of that immediately, not knowing her intentions or, for that matter, her age.
Had she been under 18, I might have been inadvertently been breaking the law had I stayed for a chat.
There was a time when I advised parents to avoid letting their kids use a computer with a Webcam, but many computers, including most laptops, now have them built-in.