Online gaming often involves interaction with other computers and live players. It’s fun for kids to connect with friends, but they also need to understand how to protect themselves so gaming remains an enjoyable activity. As a parent, it’s up to you to help your child navigate the gaming world, safely. Here are some ways to protect your child’s personal information.
Explain what’s OK to share
Names, birthdays, age, geographic location and contact information all count as personal information. While it’s fun to challenge players around the globe, it’s better if the child retains a level of anonymity to protect themselves from those who might not have the best intentions.
Secure your kids’ accounts
On your end, set up parental controls which require an adult to enter a code to change certain settings. On other devices, like cell phones, the controls can be set up to limit games/content based on ratings.
Make passwords long and strong
Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
Only allow play in a central area of the home
Keep gaming in a frequently trafficked area of the home (e.g. family room or a play room, not the child’s bedroom).
Help your kids own their online presence
When available, set their privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing.
Have your kids use an avatar
Photos with identifiable information could pose a risk to their safety. It’s better to keep their real photo private.
Use voice chat safely or not at all
If your kids play a game that features live voice chat, make sure they disguise their voice. If the game does not have this feature, don’t let them use voice chat.
Use these tips to keep your child safe online, every time.