by editorial team
Do you or your child spend a lot of time playing games online? If the answer is “yes,” then we have online gaming safety tips for you.
Online gaming can help build social skills in adults and children. However, there are risks associated with letting your child play games online. Below are a few tips to keep them (and you) safe!
Many online games involve multiplayer or teamwork elements, which makes online gaming a great way to develop adult or children's social skills. However, interacting with other players online comes with its downsides too.
Cyberbullying, abuse, and harassment from other players can be common. There’s also plenty of inappropriate and even violent content in video games.
Below are our top tips for keeping your child safe while online gaming! These tips apply to adults, too.
1. Monitor your child’s online activities
To easily spot troubling content or abusive players, keep your gaming console or PC in the open and limit the use of headsets.
Showing interest in what your child is doing online can also go a long way. You can even get a second controller and play co-op games together as a family activity!
2. Teach your child how to handle cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is a pretty common issue in the online gaming world, so make sure your child knows how to handle toxic players.
For example, almost all online games have a “mute” option, where you can mute other players. If the issue is more serious, both console and PC games have ways to report players for inappropriate behavior. There is also a block feature to prevent players from contacting your child again.
3. Protect your personal information
Don’t link any of your social media accounts to the gaming profile, and make sure your child does not disclose any personal details in their bio.
Also, make sure your child knows what they can and cannot discuss with other players online. It’s not always as obvious to them as it is to you!
4. Make use of parental controls
It is unlikely that your child will limit their game time on their own. You can do it for them using parental controls, which are built into all gaming consoles.
You can enter specific limitations for the amount of time children play and which video games they access. In addition, you can password-protect the digital store to prevent your child from accidentally racking up a huge bill.
5. Research the game
While games are legally required to provide an ESRB rating on the package, it is often quite vague and does not encompass all aspects of online play.
Before buying a game for your child, do a little more legwork by checking online forums or watching the game being played on sites like Twitch.
6. Stay in charge of downloading and installing
Searching for illegal copies of games or mods can lead your child down a rabbit hole of unsavory content and infect your computer with a virus.
Make sure your child knows this, and utilize parental control options that allow you to block downloads on your console or PC.
If you’ve got our safety tips up your sleeve, the world of online gaming does not have to be scary.
Want more tips for keeping you and your child safe online?
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