On Your Side Alert: Warning about live streaming apps

OYS ALERT: Live streaming apps

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Live pictures on the go are easier than ever. Smart phone apps like Periscope and Meerkat allow you to send a live feed from wherever you are to followers all over the world.

They're cool, immediate, and it's easy to get addicted.

However, Cyber Expert Theresa Payton says there are some things to think about before you fire up your feed.

Live streaming allows you to video tape from your smart phone, tablet or laptop and have a live world wide web audience watch without any time delays.

Meerkat and Periscope allow rapid video filming and streaming in real time and you can publish easily to Twitter.

And these will not be the last live cast apps to hit the market. But right now, these are hot which means young and old are trying them out.

What are some of the privacy concerns?

1. It has location tagging. If someone knows where you are and where you have been, hackers can predict where you will be.

2. Unmonitored comments - Both apps are monitoring content to an extent but they are still learning; users have said that comments appear to be unmonitored. This is like dropping your teen off at a Rated R movie that you didn't watch first.

3. Claims of sexual harassment - Women have reported having live streams of conversations only to have the "viewers" say lewd and suggestive things while the live stream was underway.

And like many new platforms, it takes a while for their operations centers to figure out how to block fraudsters. predators, bullies, human traffickers and more.

Legal concern: In some states, videotaping or recording without permission in a private space can be considered a crime.


1. Turn geocodes for location tracking and pictures to "off"

2. Have someone bothering you on a live streaming platform? Report it right away. For example: On Meerkat: You can type in #911MK + user name on Meerkat

3. Look at your surroundings. What could be used to track you in the post?

4. Clean up your Twitter accounts - do you have geocoded photos, pictures of your house, or other tracking information?

If after using live streaming, you fear for your safety, seek help from law enforcement. Victims can file a report at IC3.gov which is the site of the FBI Internet crime desk.

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