What is ooVoo? A Guide for Parents

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What is ooVoo? A Guide for Parents

April 10, 2015

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What is ooVoo?

65% of all ooVoo users are younger than 25 years old
  • At the time of this app review, ooVoo is one the world’s largest video and messaging apps
  • Users can call up to 7 friends at once, anywhere, for free
  • The app allows users to create and share videos with anyone, anywhere around the world
  • Users can talk to anyone, on any device or platform with the ooVoo app
  • With over 100 million users from 130 countries and 54 MM in the US alone, we consider this app to be popular with kids under 25. ooVoo suggests that kids be at least 13 years old to create an account. They also brag that 65% of all users are younger than 25 years old.

What should parents know about ooVoo?

Parents should be aware that ooVoo is used by predators to contact underage kids

ooVoo is used by predators to contact underage kids

  • Students from the US and UK (age 9, 10, 11, and 12 years old) were contacted by pedophiles on ooVoo (Mirror, UK; Whio, US; and Hull Daily Mail, UK)
  • In February 2015, men hijacked some ooVoo accounts to make inappropriate advances to children (Leicester Mercury, UK)
  • In March 2015, students got requests for naked images on ooVoo (BBC, UK)

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Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
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Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Dangerous Social media challenges

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

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NOTE: This app is no longer available in the Apple iOS App Store, and has been removed, but since returned to the Google Play store.

What is ooVoo?

65% of all ooVoo users are younger than 25 years old

ooVoo is one the world’s largest video and messaging apps. With over 100 million users from 130 countries and 54 MM in the US alone, we consider this app to be popular with kids under 25. ooVoo suggests that kids be at least 13 years old to create an account. They also brag that 65% of all users are younger than 25 years old.

ooVoo in the news

Because [ooVoo] makes video-chatting so affordable and accessible, it also can be addicting. CNN
While ooVoo has many great qualities and can be used in a completely innocuous and beneficial way, it’s also home to many adult users and a lot of inappropriate content. TeenSafe
"The FBI says a growing number of sexual predators are posing as “tweens” and befriending children and young teens by using apps such as ooVoo. NBC

Why do students prefer ooVoo?

ooVoo users can video-chat with up to 12 people at a time
  1. ooVoo has free video calls - users can video-chat with up to 12 people at a time
  2. Free text messaging - users can send text, pictures and videos to each other
  3. Unlimited free voice calls - users can talk to other users from around the world with no charge for calls
  4. Patented SuperClear™ & Superior Audio technology - which allow users to have a high quality picture and sound while they are talking to friends and family
  5. Free screen share
  6. ooVoo works on any type of network - 4G, 3G, LTE and WiFi-only devices

Steps to set up an account on ooVoo

Don't use your real name or any identifiable personal information as your ooVoo ID

To register you can use your email or login with your Facebook account.

ooVoo will ask you to:

  • Create an ooVoo ID (it will be your username, which you won’t be able to change later)
  • Write your name, that will be a title of your account (you can change it anytime)
  • Give your date of birth
  • And to choose your gender
  • ooVoo can integrate with your phone’s address book, Gmail, Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and find your friends, who have ooVoo.

ooVoo face recognition feature

New software introduced by ooVoo is able to read human emotions

ooVoo includes a new software feature that reads human emotions. The company says it could be useful in business and politics. Political pollsters are planning to use it in the 2016 US presidential election.(Daily Mail)

Researchers fed the computer with pictures showing human expressions. Even ooVoo admits it could worry some people because of privacy issue.

What should parents know about ooVoo?

Parents should be aware that ooVoo is used by predators to contact underage kids

ooVoo is used by predators to contact underage kids

  • Students from the US and UK (age 9, 10, 11, and 12 years old) were contacted by pedophiles on ooVoo (Mirror, UK; Whio, US; and Hull Daily Mail, UK)
  • In February 2015, men hijacked some ooVoo accounts to make inappropriate advances to children (Leicester Mercury, UK)
  • In March 2015, students got requests for naked images on ooVoo (BBC, UK)

What can parents do to keep their students safe on ooVoo?

As ooVoo integrates with Facebook friend list, ask your kids to only accept Facebook friends they know in real life
  1. Consider having your students delete this app
  2. Teach your students to do not use real/full names (or any identifiable information) as their profile or user name
  3. Profile pictures shouldn’t reveal information that can be used to locate their home/school address
  4. In security settings, “who can find me” should be set to “people who know my email address or ooVoo ID” or “nobody”
  5. As ooVoo integrates with your Facebook friend list, ask your kids to only accept Facebook friends they know in real life (also monitor their Facebook friends yourself)

More on How to use ooVoo Safely on Be Web Smart

What can teachers and parents do to keep students safe online?

Ask your students to not accept adult social media friends without talking with you
  1. If they have an ooVoo account - have a conversation with them and consider having them delete this app. Instead, use Facetime on an iPhone
  2. Ask students to not share their real names, age, phone number or address on ooVoo or any anonymous apps or websites
  3. Ask your students to not share their ooVoo ID or email address on their social media pages
  4. Ask them to not accept adult social media friends without talking with you
  5. Tell your students that they can always come to you if they have questions or concerns about their online activity or about other online users
  6. Teach your students to be Light, Bright & Polite™ in real life, as well as online

Comment bellow if you have any questions or tell us for which app we should create our next safety guide.

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