The online gaming world can be fun and exciting for kids, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t help your kids protect themselves. While they may think it’s all fun and games, the truth is that there are dangers lurking, many of them they and you may not be aware of.
Here are some tips to keep them safe online.
Make sure games are age appropriate.
Just like movies, games have ratings. These let you know what age group the games are best suited. Some have violence, sexual content, and horror scenes which may not be appropriate for all children. Ask your children what games they’re playing and check out the ratings. This way you can decide if they’re safe and appropriate for your child.
Turn on privacy settings.
If your kids are not aware of privacy settings, make sure that you are. These privacy settings are available on many game consoles and online games. They allow you to control who can see your gaming profile and who can talk to you while you’re online. There are many games these days that allow kids to play together even when they don’t know each other. This can be fun, but it can also be dangerous because the 10-year-old boy your child may have friended online may actually be an adult who is a child predator. Always be mindful of who you are kids are playing with online to avoid potential dangers. Also, make sure your child’s location or address is never visible online.
Don’t be afraid to block or report people.
Blocking and reporting exist for a reason. These options allow you to block certain people from contacting you online and report those who may be harassing you. Both are tools used to protect your child online. Don’t be afraid to use them. Be sure you have an open line of communication between you and your child so that they feel comfortable telling you when someone is bothering them online.
Teach your child about cyberbullies and “griefers”
While your child may be aware of bullies at school that they can see, there are also cyberbullies lurking online that have the same agenda. Teach your child how to recognize them and so-called “griefers”. These are defined as people who purposely harass people online so that they don’t enjoy playing their games. Either type of people are ones you don’t want your children interacting with while they’re trying to have fun online playing their games.
If you want a safe gaming environment where your child will also learn gaming tips and skills, then give MakerKids a try. We offer a wide variety of programs and camps geared at teaching kids about coding, Minecraft, and STEM-related topics. You can feel at ease knowing that your child is gaming in a safe environment. If you’re ready to give your child the gift of safe online gaming, call us today at 1-844-MAKERKIDS to get started!