Sensible Guidelines Make Online Gaming Safer for Your Kids

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Online gaming is wildly popular with both adults and children. Since the online world can be a dangerous place, it’s especially important to protect kids when they participate in online gaming. Consider the following suggestions that can make games a safer activity.

  1. Game with your children. It’s easy, fun, and a good way to bond. If you participate actively, you will be more likely to understand what games your child likes and why.
  1. Set limits. You probably know that structure is a good thing, so create rules that your child can understand setting gaming time limits, gaming locations and the types of games allowed.
  1. Don’t rely on gaming ratings. Do some research and see for yourself.
  1. Be alert for the negative effects of gaming like gaming addiction. Moderation is important.
  1. You can count on eventually encountering aggressive anti-social behavior and abusive language in online gaming interaction. Make sure your children know that such behavior is not acceptable for them, either online or in the real world. Courtesy and good sportsmanship is still important.
  1. Keep security software current on your gaming systems to protect from viruses, malware and other online threats. Make passwords long and strong so they are secure as well.
  1. Focus on protecting personal information by making sure your child maintains a level of anonymity. Online gaming can attract individuals who are not who they say they are and do not have the best intentions. For example, have the child use an avatar rather than an actual picture of themselves. If the game features live voice chat, make sure they disguise their voice. If the game does not have this feature, do not let them use voice chat. Remind them that it’s important to limit how and with whom they share information.
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