For children and young adults, online games can be educational and provide interaction with others. However, it is important to recognize the risks associated with online games and take steps to make sure your kids are staying safe online.
Did you know?
72% of teens play video games online or on their phone.
16% of Internet users who have experienced online harassment said their most recent
Incident occurred on an online game.
91% of boys and 70% of girls have access to a gaming console.
Keep a clean machine. Gaming systems are simply computers with software that needs to be kept up‐to‐date. Take time to make sure all the online gaming devices in your house have the latest security software, web browser, and operating system.
Protect your personal information. Keep your and your child’s full name, Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation plans.
Protect your privacy. Some online games offer geo-tagging functionality that can reveal you or your child’s exact location. If possible, disable these geo-tagging features. Do not use a web cam or voice chat option when playing an online game.
Make passwords long and strong. Be sure your kids have strong passwords for their gaming accounts. Passwords should be at least ten characters long and a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Parents should know their children’s passwords.
Empower your children to handle problems. Many gaming systems allow players to interact with other people across the globe. Make sure your children know how to block or report a cyberbully. Tell them to keep a record of the conversation if they are being harassed and encourage them not to engage the bully. You can also notify a game’s publisher or online service about the offender.
For more online gaming tips for kids, teens and tweens, visit StaySafeOnline.