Keeping Your Kids Safe When Playing Online Games


If you have kids, you’re undoubtedly familiar with online games. You’ve probably seen endless versions of the “Fortnite dances” and heard all about the worlds they have created on Roblox and Minecraft. What you probably haven’t heard, though, is how potentially dangerous these and other online games can be if you don’t take precautions.

Online predators use these games to target victims, but that’s not the only issue. Online bullying, inappropriate language and behavior and viruses and identify theft have all been tied to online gaming, leading many parents to ban (or consider banning) the games from their homes. However, with the right protections and education for your kids, online games can be fun and educational and perfectly safe.

If your kids play online, or you are considering allowing them to start playing, follow these rules for ensuring that they remain fun and safe.

Install Antivirus Protection

Before allowing your kids to join any games on a computer or mobile device, protect them with advanced antivirus and antimalware protection. Make sure all operating systems are updated (and updated automatically as necessary) and that your firewalls and other protections are enabled. Make sure your kids are only downloading or joining games from official apps or websites and servers, to avoid potential security risks to your devices.

Use Parental Controls

Many games and consoles include parental control options that can limit the amount of time kids can play, what games they can play and the features they have access to. Set these controls to your own preferences.

Establish Rules and Expectations

One of the most important aspects of keeping kids safe online is to establish rules and expectations for playing games and remaining consistent with enforcing those rules. For starters, do not allow your kids to have computers or internet-connected consoles in their rooms. When gaming must be done in a common area with parental supervision, the likelihood of a problem decreases significantly. You should also establish clear rules about when games can be played, which games can be played and what activities children can do. For instance, many games allow players to chat with others around the world. For safety, do not allow your children to talk with strangers or disable the chat features altogether.

Educate Your Kids

If kids are old enough to play online games, then they are old enough to learn about the dangers present on the internet. Remind your kids that not everyone online is who they claim to be and that they need to be cautious about who they talk to. Help your kids create their own profiles, letting them know that they should never reveal their real names, addresses, age, school or what activities they participate in to strangers online.

Learn Reporting Procedures

Every game has methods for reporting inappropriate or abusive behavior and language, and you and your kids should know how to use them. Talk with your kids and help them identify things that need to be reported. Because some kids may be reluctant to discuss bullying or other problems out of fear that you’ll take the game away, ask them questions about their games and what’s going on. Keeping the game consoles in a shared area of your home can also help you nip problems in the bud. Try to keep your eyes and ears tuned to what’s happening, so you can intervene if things start getting out of hand.

Play With Them

One of the best ways to keep your kids safe when gaming online is to play with them. Even if you are hopeless and can’t get past the early levels, letting them show you their worlds and playing with them not only strengthens your relationship with your kids, but also gives you an idea of what’s happening in their games. You can ask more relevant questions and understand what they are saying when they tell you what’s happening — and spot potential problem areas before they become issues.

With all of the dangers online, it’s probably tempting to simply not allow your kids to play their favorite games. If you stay involved, though, and keep tabs on what your kids are doing, these games can be perfectly safe.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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4 years ago

I beieve that being extra involved in children activities is a great way to keep them safe and guide them but this can be done up to a certain age, then they wonțt accept it anymore.
I’m a new mom and read a lot to stay informed. I also found interesting ideas here:
Thanks for a good article.

4 years ago

I love this so much! Online games can be a lot of fun, but it’s dangerous out there in the cyberverse. We have have to remain vigilant.

4 years ago

Gone are the days of single player games like we had back in the day. It’s scary to think about the dangers lurking behind the games our children love to play, but these are all very helpful tips to keep gaming fun and safe for our children.

4 years ago

I’ve found that playing with them better helps me understand how and who they are connecting to online. And better equips me with ways to prevent any harassing or bad behavior from others, in general.

Annemarie LeBlanc
Annemarie LeBlanc
4 years ago

I can just imagine the anxiety of parents nowadays with young children playing online games! When my kids were growing up, we did not have so many online games, just the Nintendo and Atari game consoles and later, the XBox. I will share this post with my cousins who still have young children.

Lisa Favre
4 years ago

Now that my son is starting use his iPad, I have gotten used to using parental controls. They are key when your kids start playing with electronics.

Fatima Torres
4 years ago

Parental controls do come in handy! I always suggest it to friends who say they allow their kids to use their phone to watch videos.

Kristine Nicole Alessandra
Kristine Nicole Alessandra
4 years ago

I think educating the kids on the dangers of online usage would be best. This is just like the “don’t talk to strangers” rule when I was growing up. It is just more difficult nowadays because the predators are not always visible and can take on any identity they wish to lure kids. Thanks for putting together this article.

4 years ago

Great tips! I also bookmark websites for my kids sop they can access safe and fun games easily instead of Googling and getting into the wrong place. Ad-blocks help as well. Some gaming sites pop-up R-rated ads!

4 years ago

Parental Controls are so important today. Too much is online unsupervised is too much!

Autumn Murray
4 years ago

I love this information. Anything that helps parents protect their children from all of the evils on the internet. Thank you.

emmanuel damian
4 years ago

i usually use filters and restrict R-18 sites for my little nephews and niece. I also install educational games so they won’t browse any other sites.

4 years ago

Hi, I just visited your website, The information you shared is really helpful, I found out that there is another website helping me out about that part, I wish you had the same information like the other one.
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