Gaming Safety for Kids is a very serious concern. Did you know that a whopping 90% of all kids play video games in the United States? As much as you may want your kids to refrain from gaming, it’s become a nearly inseparable part of life for their generation. However, the fun should never cause you to forget the threats associated with gaming. As a parent, you should get to know the main threats your kids face while gaming, and you should ensure that your kids are as protected as possible from them. Keep reading to find out everything you should know about gaming safety for kids.
Gaming Safety for Kids: What are the biggest threats?
Online gaming poses many different threats to your child’s safety. You must be aware of the main dangers to know how to keep them safe. The biggest threats posed by online gaming are:
Various online gaming platforms have random pop-ups with malicious links. Your child might also receive a message from a stranger asking them to click on a malicious link, promising that it contains cheat codes to help their game. Once such a link is clicked on, the malware can steal all data stored on the device. Sometimes, spyware can be planted in links, which allow hackers to spy on you and your kids through your camera without you ever knowing.
No child is ever truly safe from bullies. Sometimes, games can get so heated that players start calling other players horrible names, so you should always keep this in mind and talk with your child about it.
Did you know that 8.4% of kids are addicted to gaming? No matter how innocent your kids’ games look, they can lead to a horrible addiction that will take a toll on their mental health and social life, so always keep this in mind.
How to keep your kids safe?
Once you get to know these threats, it’s easy to get scared and overwhelmed. However, there’s always a way to protect your kids! Below are some tips that every parent should follow to keep their kids safe while gaming online.
Secure their login information
Leaked login information can lead to anything from identity theft to planted spyware. Make sure that the passwords your kids use for their gaming accounts are as secure as possible. They should have uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols because these passwords are almost impossible to guess.
Also, it’s best if your kids use anonymous login information for their gaming accounts and not their actual name and last name. You never know who your kid is playing with online, and you don’t want those strangers to be able to identify your kids.
There are only so many ways in which you can protect your kids online if they don’t protect themselves. Please educate your kids on the dangers of online gaming. They should know what malware and addiction are and why they need to keep them in mind. Once they’re familiar with the threats, you can teach them some safety precautions, such as:
- Never click on unknown links
- Never share personal information with other players
- Report suspicious activities
- Report bullies
These are some simple precautions, but if your kids follow them, they’ll be much safer online.
Download antimalware software
The device your kids are gaming on should always have antimalware software downloaded. No matter how smart your kid is, they can still infect their device with malware. Some pop-ups or scams can be very believable, and you won’t even know what hit you. Antimalware software will keep all of the bad stuff from infecting your device.
Set time limits
No matter how much your kid loves gaming, there should be strict time limits. This will help protect your kids from gaming addiction and keep them from forgetting about the outside world (which happens more often than you’d think). Tell your kids that they have 1 or 2 hours a day for gaming, and that’s it. But be sure to let them know the reasons for this, so they don’t think they’re being punished.
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Although there are many threats associated with online games, that shouldn’t be a reason to ban your kids from playing them. The truth is, there are threats everywhere, so it’s the precautions you take to keep yourself and your kids safe that matter. If you’re careful and ensure that your kids are careful, they’ll have a fun and secure gaming experience, minus the addiction and malware.