Online Gaming – Kids Safety ConcernsArticle Posted by Expert Author: Jesse Schwarz on 10/31/2014
Does your child play online games? If so, it’s important that you monitor their accounts and keep your eyes peeled for suspicious activity. While online games are growing in popularity, and can be a lot of fun, it’s important that you know exactly which games your kids participate in to protect their safety. Online games, such as World of Warcraft, allow users from all around the world to interact and play the game together, which is why monitoring is so important.
Internet service providers don’t monitor online games for you, although they have certain parental control features that keep inappropriate material from getting through. If you want to keep track of the games your kids are playing, you’re going to have to do it yourself.
Very young children should not be allowed to play online multiplayer games at all – the dangers are too high, and it would be extremely difficult to monitor them as they play. With teenagers, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure they don’t get into trouble or talk to the wrong people:
- Keep communication open. Talk about the importance of not giving out personal information, and staying anonymous in online games. Have your teenager tell you what games they’re playing, and their account information, so you can check up on their activity in the game.
- Know your child’s password so you can get into their account without their help – monitor what they have been doing.
- Limit the amount of time your teenager can spend playing the game, so that they don’t become obsessed or addicted. Set down some rules, and request that homework be completed before any online gaming takes place.
- Set up any parental controls the game may have created for safety purposes.
Broadband has made it possible for people to play online games – with dial-up services there wasn’t enough bandwidth for such a phenomenon. The popularity of online, interactive gaming has made it necessary to monitor your kids’ activity online, and ensure they don’t spend too much time staring at their computer screen.
For World of Warcraft in particular, there are settings made specifically for parental controls. If you do allow a younger child to play the game, this will come in handy. Of course, even with parental control settings, you have to watch younger kids play online games at all times.
Here are the settings for World of Warcraft’s parental controls, which allow you to set up a play schedule for your kids:
- Visit the World of Warcraft community site and search for the parental control tab.
- Log in using your kid’s password and player information.
- Create a password to be used for the purposes of parental control. Keep this safely stowed away.
- Use the calendar to set access times for your child. You can even read the parental control FAQ if you need more help with settings.
Another way to monitor online gaming usage is to play along with your child. This is a fun solution to the problem, and very effective. If you play with your child, you’ll know exactly what they’re up to in the game. Of course, this probably won’t work with older children, but the younger ones may actually get a kick out of it. High speed Internet providers have made it possible to have fun playing online games – so get out there and play!
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