Were you aware that the average teenager spends close to 70 minutes per day within the online gaming community? While there is no doubt that digital games are a great deal of fun, a number of potential hazards also exist. Let’s look at eight steps which parents can take in order to ensure that their child remains safe at all times.
Know When to Say When
Acronyms are often used when playing online games and “AFK” is one of the most common. What does AFK mean in gaming here? AFK is an abbreviation for “away from keyboard” and it is employed in the event that a gamer steps away from his or her computer. This activity should be encouraged from time to time and parents must make it a point to clearly establish how long their child can interact with the online community on a daily basis.
Gamers are Also People
Respect is also important in terms of safe and healthy gaming. Children (and teenagers in particular) can often be prone to bullying. Remind your child that other players have feelings and that they should be treated with respect.
Review the Community Guidelines
Always make it a point to review the community guidelines with your child. You will thereafter be able to address questions in regard to behavior, age verification methods and what type of data will be collected.
Only Use Trusted Gaming Platforms
Parents must make absolutely certain that their child is only interacting with well-known gaming servers. This is crucial, as generic platforms may occasionally place personal details (such as email addresses or social media accounts) at risk of being displayed to the general public or otherwise hacked.
Control What is Spoken and Written
We need to remember that online actions are often recorded; even voice messages and live chat sessions. Instruct your child on the proper etiquette. If he or she decides to break the rules, some type of punishment (such as restricting the game for a set period of time) is normally a good idea.
Check Privacy Settings
Privacy settings have been created for a purpose. As this article notes, these algorithms can often be used as a means to collect personal information for future targeted advertisements. Of course, safety is a potential issue. Always adjust these settings in accordance with your concerns as a parent.
Create a Safe Username
Instruct your child to create a secure username. Here are some specific guidelines to remember:
- The identification should not contain his or her real name.
- Use letters and numbers.
- If possible (depending on the platform), it could be wise to autogenerate a secure username.
Avoid Sharing Personal Information
Above all, instruct your child to never share his or her details with anyone; even if the other party is considered to be a close friend.
These eight simple rules can help to guarantee that your child is able to enjoy all that the digital community has to offer while also addressing your understandable safety concerns.