Games are available in various formats, ranging from apps for tablets and smartphones to game consoles, and other internet platforms. However, one thing is certain: the growing capacity to talk, transmit files, share cameras, and other online activities enhances the potential for cyber thieves to exploit children. As a result, parents and guardians must speak with their children about how to stay safe online, what to look out for, and how to respond if they feel threatened.
There’s a game for everyone out there. Some people may like sports games, such as FIFA and NBA. Others prefer to play adventure games like Fortnite or Minecraft. Virtually all video games now allow you to play online with pals, making them better than ever. But, of course, young folks aren’t the only ones that play internet games. Did you realise there are more than 2 billion gamers on the planet? These gamers aren’t just wasting their time; gaming has been shown to increase coordination, problem-solving skills, and cognitive speed, to mention a few perks.
Every time you play, gaming may take you on incredible experiences, form lifelong friendships, and provide opportunities for creativity and fun. When gaming online, though, it’s critical to be aware of the available safety features and settings. The problem here isn’t just the brutality in some of these games; it’s also the danger posed by other people playing online. A child is prone to damaging influences if they are playing a game with random people. The majority of online games attract players of all ages. As a result, it’s possible that 10-year-olds will be playing with 20-year-olds. And, unfortunately, this puts youngsters at risk of being exploited by strangers.
Because of this, children are in danger of being bullied and being subjected to inappropriate language. In addition, children may carry this behaviour into the actual world due to the knock-on effect. Another significant issue with youngsters using the internet is that they may mistakenly reveal personal information to strangers. Here are some valuable tips to ensure that our children and young adults are gaming safely.
Who are you playing?
Because most online games are open to everyone, you may find yourself playing with people who are much younger or older than you. You could be significantly better or worse at the game than the folks with whom you’re playing. People have been known to utilise games to entice youngsters and teenagers to exchange sexual images or nudes. People who do this may make you feel safe and ask you to keep things private or offer you presents or accolades. This is referred to as grooming. You lose control of something you disclose online, even in private communication. If you’re chatting with someone online and they urge you to share sexual photographs or personal information, it’s a good idea to first speak with someone you trust.
Meeting someone you’ve only communicated with over the internet might be risky. Only do so with your parents’ or caregivers’ permission, and only when they are available. Even if you’ve been chatting with someone online for a long time, keep in mind that they’re still strangers.
Because of their subjects, most games have an age rating. Violent and sexually explicit games will receive a higher rating. PEGI’s age rating system provides an overview of each game, allowing you to determine whether or not they are acceptable. Because the ratings do not consider communication elements, a game with a low age rating may enable children to communicate with strangers.
A fellow player who wants to access your personal information doesn’t always have to breach your account. You may not believe that using your real name on your account when gaming or chatting with other gamers about where you live is a big concern, but it is. On the other hand, bad people can use your information to track you down on other websites, harass you, or worse, impersonate you and steal your identity. Ensure your account name doesn’t contain any personal information, such as your first or last name, location, or birth year. When interacting with strangers online, always be cautious.
We hear stories about young people getting into financial trouble by unwittingly racking up bills while playing internet games. Some online games, known as advergames, are designed to promote specific products and may tempt you to buy items within the game/app. In-app purchases can be disabled on smartphones by heading to the settings menu.
It can be tough to keep up with the current games’ privacy and security settings. Still, several games allow users to disable communications, mute voice chat and report other misbehaving players. In addition, all of the major video game consoles feature settings that restrict kids from playing inappropriate games. For example, you can limit the amount of time a child can play and prevent them from communicating with strangers. It’s a good idea to look into these options before allowing your youngster to play the game.