Online Gaming – What you need to know to keep your kids safe

kids_online_safe

 

Did you know that gaming is the most popular online activity for the under 8’s? 37% children play games over the internet.

 

There is nothing like sitting down with your children and joining in some of their games to find out just why they find them such fun.

 

Alarmingly 1 in 5 children play online games with other people they have never met.

 

Here’s how to keep their gaming experience healthy:
• Find out what sort of games your children enjoy – do they prefer role-play games, sports games, strategy and quest games or first-person shooter games?

 

• Ask who they play with online, who they meet and talk to, and what kind of language is being used in live chat (usually via headsets). Gaming sites often have ways of reporting abusive chat and excluding anti-social players. Make sure your child knows how to do this

 

• Especially for younger children, change the settings on your tablet or smartphone to ‘airplane’ mode. That way, they can play the game offline without making accidental purchases or connecting with someone they don’t know

 

• Check out the age rating for each game and learn about PEGI (Pan European Game Information) classifications

 

• Make sure you and your family agree what games can be played and that children understand why some games are allowed and others aren’t. Agree how long they’re allowed to play for

 

• Teach your children to protect themselves – remind them not to share personal information and to keep gaming friends in the game only rather than adding them to their other social networks

 

• Read each game’s advice for parents and play the game yourself to help you understand more about how the game your child is playing works and its appropriateness.

 

source: www.internetmatters.org 2014

 

Another really good place to check out gaming advice for parents is: http://www.askaboutgames.com/

 

For access to safe educational games without the worry, click HERE.

 

Play safe!

 

Julia

 

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