Today there are over two billion players worldwide, of which 27 percent are under the age of 18. This means that children and adolescents are becoming more and more involved in video games due to the large selection. This increase in popularity can make it difficult for parents to keep up with the online security features offered.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO TO KEEP YOUR FAMILIES SAFE?
Here are some things to think about when playing video games with your family:
1. Age rating
Does your child play or see an age-appropriate game? It is common to buy games based on the age and content ratings of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). There are three core components of the ESRB rating system. Rating categories indicate age adequacy, content descriptions indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating, and interactive elements highlight interactive or online features of a product of interest to parentsbe able to interact with other users. For boxed games, ESRB also offers assessment summaries that go beyond the ratings to give parents a detailed but brief description of exactly the kind of content they would now like when selecting a game for their child.
2. Account Security
Does your child use a two-step or two-factor verification method? Both methods protect your accounts by requiring additional information after entering your password to access your account.If not, what are the privacy settings for the game? Many games today are connected to the Internet and can be played either on consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation, on the computer or on mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Familiarize yourself with the privacy settings for each device so there are no surprises. It’s important to know the privacy policies of each game, app or site to know what personal information is stored, why and with whom it can be shared.
3.Block and Report
Since many games have voice chat capabilities or chat boxes in-game, there is a possibility that other players will not contact them. You and your child should be familiar with the Reporting and Locking features so that they can easily report problematic behaviors. Encourage your child to educate you about poisonous behavior and begin a conversation about what to say and what not to say when playing online. Parents can also prevent potentially disruptive behaviors by muting the voice chat and / or restricting the use of a headset. There are also some parental control settings that allow parents to create “white lists” that track who their child is allowed to play with.
4. Use a VPN for games
Use a VPN like NordVPN, your traffic is encrypted and your IP address is hidden from hackers so that your family information is not snooped. It also protects you from DDoS attacks and ISP bandwidth throttling.