Whether you play online games on your PC or smartphone, you have a responsibility to keep your kids safe from shady characters and malicious software. Luckily, the game industry is investing in technology and moderation software to help protect kids from malicious online predators.
It’s important to check a game’s age recommendation before you allow your children to play. Online gaming can be fun for all ages, but if you don’t set up proper boundaries and restrictions, your children could be at risk.
Parents should also check if the game offers parental controls, and make sure to activate them. They can restrict your child’s ability to chat with other players, mute other players, and block other users.
For example, you might want to turn off voice chat on Fortnite, because it allows hackers to access your child’s account. However, you should know that many games offer some kind of voice chat, and you can disable it on a per-player basis.
Fortunately, most popular MMOs (massively multiplayer online games) have some type of parental control system. This includes games like World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and FarmVille.
Some of the more advanced gaming platforms have a “Report Player” tool, which lets you report any bad actors. Alternatively, you can use a third-party chat app.
The best way to keep your kids safe is to use up-to-date anti-virus software. Keep all of your devices up to date and in good working order.
While there’s no magic formula for determining which online games are safe for your kids, you can learn about the benefits and potential drawbacks of each. You can also ask your kids about their favorite games and gaming activities.