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What is iChat?

iChat is Apple's instant-messaging program that is included with the Mac OS X operating system. This IM program works with AIM and MobileMe accounts. iChat differs from some other IM programs because users can participate in audio and video chats with friends as well as multiway chats - meaning users can chat with more than one person in the same conversation.

Here are some other things to be aware of when considering your child's safety when using iChat.

  • Users can manipulate their own video backdrops to make it look like they are chatting from a different location than where they really are. Children should only be chatting with people they know and trust in real life, so this feature could be a fun way for them to interact with each other or hide their locations or personal information that might be revealed through video chat.
  • Users can "screenshare" with another user, meaning that the other user can observe and control your desktop when enabled. Children should not be allowing anyone to have access to your home computer or files that contain personal information.
  • Files can be easily tranferred by simply dragging the file into the IM window. Teach your children not to accept files from people they don't know and trust. They should also be careful when accepting files from people they know because they could contain viruses.

iChat does incorporate parental controls. Click here to learn how to enable them.


What are some instant-messaging safety tips?