Online gaming is by no means a new trend. In the 2000s, games had modes that let players connect with friends or strangers online. Games like Counter-Strike and League of Legends were primarily multiplayer.
However, the internet in 2021 is has become aware of online safety. Educating your kids about this issue is important with cybercrime on the rise. Since many parents might not be familiar with the virtual world, we have made a guide for you to understand it all better.
Firstly, we must understand what multiplayer online games are and how they work. When you understand this working, you will better understand the dangers and harms associated with them. This guide will help you gain an insight on this topic and tell you the measures you must keep in mind.
What are online games?
Any video game that can connect to the internet to find other players is online. It can belong to any genre and can be either a kid’s game or meant for adults. The primary purpose is to compete alongside or against other people on the internet. It is a window to an outside world unknown to a child.
As mentioned, this technology has gained popularity in recent times. Most titles coming out in 2021 are multiplayer or at least played online. Newer releases include Call of Duty: Vanguard, Forza, and Baldur’s Gate. Games like Call of Duty have public lobbies for players to join.
Additionally, many games provide features to interact with strangers in complete anonymity. VR Chat is software where players with VR headsets can meet other players virtually. Others like Penguin Club or Roblox allowed for direct chatting with strangers. Get Microsoft Redeem Code.
Games like Roblox or Minecraft have servers to join and interact with players.
What are the dangers?
Let’s say your child joins a public lobby in any game with multiplayer campaigns. There is no way of knowing the age and social background of other players in the squad. It can be another kid, a teenager, or even an adult. The identities are completely anonymous.
Since the internet offers anonymity, it leads to individuals not facing the consequences of their actions. The worst that could happen is they get a ban on their account. This free pass is the root cause of all cybercrime. Having a screen to hide behind lets criminals get away with their actions.
Therefore, as a parent, you should understand the dangers of online games. The most common danger is the infinite number of scams looking to take your money illegally. Kids aren’t aware of con artists and frauds and thus might give away crucial information to them.
Once a scammer gets their hand on your credit card information or your address, it’s easy for them to loot you. Scammers can also trace the IP of your connection and gain your full name and address.
However, the worst is yet to come. Protected by anonymity, some individuals are a danger to children. There have been many cases where a child was coerced by a predator online and eventually met harm. It’s easy for them to lie and manipulate children through texts.
Additionally, your child might be hearing racist/sexist remarks and slurs every time they join a public lobby. Cyberbullying is very common in today’s age. Unchecked, bullying can lead to a child being depressed and lacking self-worth.
How do I ensure my kid’s safety?
Parental control is essential in any growing child’s life. The same principle applies to the kid’s interaction with the virtual world. Whether competitive gaming or interaction-based games, you should keep an eye on what your kid does.
It is important to make sure they aren’t talking to strangers about anything personal.
Always check the ratings for the game your child is about to play. If it isn’t appropriate for their age, they shouldn’t engage with it. Additionally, make sure your child knows how to report other players. If they face any harassment, encourage them to take action against it. Teach your child to be respectful online as well.
On top of that, use parental restrictions on the games with that option. It helps filter out a big portion of the inappropriate content that your child might be exposed to. Advise them about the dangers of playing online, and limit the interaction that your kid can have.
Another important part of online safety is the use of VPNs. VPN is a virtual private network that masks your IP and keeps your data safe on the internet. Anyone trying to trace your IP will be unsuccessful if you use a VPN. So buy one and make sure it’s on when your child has his session.
It is quintessential to be aware of our safety online in today’s world. While video games provide our kids with a new world to make friends in, it also has disadvantages. We can ensure our children remain safe while having fun on the internet with just a little care. It will encourage honesty if we take the time to ask them what they play or whom they talk to.
Your child’s safety on the internet is in your hands. By understanding how cybercrime works, we can prevent it from taking place. Following general rules of precaution and staying up-to-date with gaming can help you be a better parent.