As The New York Times noted, however, cam models performing for a large online audience are sometimes blackmailed or threatened into performing acts they are not comfortable with.If they don't comply, they run the risk of having their real identity exposed to friends and family.
As it turns out, Sarah had inadvertently provided enough personal information to allow 4chan users to track her down.
Soon, her full name, address, and telephone number were revealed, and a fake Facebook account with all of her naked photos was made in her name.
The account was forwarded to her family and friends, along with a message.
People can now video chat face to face with family and friends through video calling services such as Skype and Face Time, hold video conferences with more than one person on Google Hangouts and social networking sites, and even use their webcam as a barcode scanner to check the cost/trade in value of goods online.
Some games consoles also allow the use of a camera to video chat or capture footage of someone playing a game.
There are a huge number of positive uses and potential for using webcams as a tool for communication and searching for information and a number of sites and services may wish to access your webcam.
The advice below can help you minimise the risks associated with webcams and video chatting.
In his book, "The Dark Net," Jamie Bartlett explores, among other things, the large network of websites that allow amateur pornographers to upload explicit videos or perform live for a chatroom audience. Websites like Chaturbate and We Cam Girls use a "tipping" system that lets viewers pay to see certain sex acts.
The chatroom displays a tipper leaderboard, and the top tipper gets a prize.
Big spenders are also listed as the cam model's "favorites."Many models also have Amazon-like "wishlists" where fans can go and buy them things, whether it be a breast enlargement or a washing machine.
Bartlett recalls finding one wishlist which included books of left-wing social criticism and a Black & Decker Dust Buster.