Online gaming is an exciting way for kids to digitally socialize with other gamers throughout the world. Consequently, it has recently been experiencing a tremendous inrush in the number of participants.
Despite the fun and convenience that come with it, online gaming has its fair share of risks. It’s therefore essential for parents to take necessary precautions before allowing their kids to venture into the unfamiliar world of online gaming. This will enable them to successfully shield their loved ones from cyber and other threats that accompany online gaming.
Here are a few tips to assist parents provide a safe online gaming experience for their loved ones.
1) Ascertain the Game’s Rating
As a parent, you should make it a norm to check any game’s rating on Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) before granting your kids access to the game. This is necessary to determine the age appropriateness of the game.
Poker99, for instance, offers online poker gaming to players above 18 years of age as is not ideal for underage gamers.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board avails summaries of ratings detailing everything a parent would want to know about ESRB rated games, along with various elaborate examples.
2) Keep the Gaming Machine Protected
Online gaming is usually conducted on a variety of gaming devices like PCs, consoles, tablets and smart phones. As most of these games are progressive, they usually save some data about the player to allow easy continuity. It’s therefore imperative to ensure your kid’s gaming device’s access is limited and secure. You can achieve this by using long complex passwords.
Like any other online venture, online gaming is always plagued with the threat of viruses, malware and other internet-related threats. To protect your child’s gaming device from such threats, you ought to invest in reliable and updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software as well as a dependable and activated firewall.
Additionally, you should periodically update your kid’s online gaming device’s operating system, security suite and web browser software as this will not only guarantee the device’s online protection but also give your kids an exemplary gaming experience.
3) Safeguard Personal Information
Personal information encompasses real names, gender, age and geographical location among other private aspects. In online gaming, it’s vital to ensure that your child’s personal details are kept from other online gamers. This will help protect your kid from possible cyber harassment and cyber bullying by other online gamers.
Moreover, keeping your child’s personal information from online public domains will enable you to defend your loved ones against possible online ‘tracking’ and guarantee a safe online gaming venture.
4) Conceal your Real Identity
Various online games feature live video and voice communication between players. While this hikes the games’ real life simulation effect, it also exposes your child to countless cyber-related threats
You should ensure that your kid always uses avatars in place of their real photo in online games supporting this feature. This will ensure that their facial details remain hidden from potentially threatening online presences.
Additionally, always insist on your child to mask their voice while engaging in live voice chat with other players. Most games featuring voice chat include a voice-disguising option. In the case of absence of this option, insist on your kid to desist from using voice chat in such a game.
However, most devices support download and installation of third party voice-masking software.
5) Activate Parental Controls
Most gaming devices and web browsers have in-built parental control parameters. You should always enable and configure these controls to restrict some potentially risky games’ features from access by your kids. For instance, restrain your kids from downloading anything from online platforms without your express permission.
These measures will help protect your child’s gaming device from attack by potentially harmful malware and freeware disguised as helpful tutorials and cheat codes for various games.
6) Schedule Sessions for Game Play
The excitement that accompanies online gaming is second to none. Kids therefore are often times overwhelmed and they end up neglecting other important aspects of their daily life. The gaming world is virtual and should not supersede normal life.
Some gaming consoles have inbuilt parental controls that allow you to define the time limit for your child’s game play.
7) Strategically Position the Gaming Device
It’s important to place your child’s gamer in a central location where you can easily monitor their online adventures.
8) Educate your Child
Knowledge is power. Your kids are safer if they clearly understand the risks involved while playing games online.
9) Research Exhaustively
Before availing any game to your child, make sure you conduct a thorough research to ensure it’s appropriate for your child’s consumption. You may have to delve deeper as some gaming sites avail games of various ratings.
10) Keep Online Discipline
Strive to always remind your child to remain courteous online as they should in the physical world. Staying respectful to other online players has indespicable potential to positively impact your child’s morality. The opposite also holds true.
This brief guide is aimed at helping you provide an exceptionally secure and limitlessly enjoyable online gaming experience to your child. Hopefully, it has taught you something you didn’t know or simply overlooked in the past.