Video Games are a fun and healthy way for children to spend their time. With the advent of online gaming, more and more kids enjoy playing games together with their friends and siblings through the internet. While this is a great way for kids to communicate and work together, more often than not your children play with the occasional stranger as well. This comes with its fair risk so how can you make sure your child stays safe online especially when you are too busy to look over them? Online gaming can end up creating both social risks and technological risks. What most parents do not recognize is that many online gaming risks are similar to those computer users may have already encountered and that games pose another opportunity for the compromise of their privacy or computer security. While hearing this may seem alarming, no need to fear – we are here to give you some great tips on how to protect you and your child’s privacy and safety.
The first step is to ensure that all your child’s accounts are secure. Most online games allow the creation of a family account, allowing you to maintain full control of your child’s account. Most people end up creating passwords that are easy for them to remember and this is a big glaring fault. Do enable two-factor authentication and while it may seem unnecessary, it provides a second layer of security if your account is ever breached. Make sure to create a complex password – Google will generate encrypted passwords for you and will save them to your google account, this makes sure that your account is secure with a strong password and you don’t have to go through the trouble of memorizing it. Antivirus and spyware have become necessary in today’s world, with more viruses being developed that can go undetectable, it is important to have strong security.
Now while all of this protects you from unseen threats, what about encounters in the online world? It is absolutely vital to educate your kids on how to behave online as you may not always be there to look over them. There are basic rules that every kid should know:
- Never give out private information online.
- Never share account details with others.
- Never open links or files someone sends you online.
- Never download games from untrusted websites.
Trolls and bullies have become a very common threat in the cyberspace. They often use harassment and abusive tactics to hurt others and can become extremely difficult to deal with. The greater reaction you show, the more likely it is that they will continue and increase their methods. However, this is not your battle. Do not hesitate to mute the troll or ban them if the option is available to you. Always note their usernames and If possible document any abuse so you can provide credible proof of the incident. Report their behaviour to the game’s support team or a moderator. That way proper action can be taken fast and without too much hassle.
Gaming can be extremely fun and a great hobby for your child. While there are plenty of negative incidents that occur, the positives outweigh them. Practice safe measures so that your child can have fun in a safe cyberspace.