Online gaming - know the risks
Check the age rating on games as many include violence or sexual content. Many games are for ages 18 years and over.
Stick to games from reputable sites, such as MSN, Xbox Live and Yahoo! Games. When games are downloaded from less-than-reputable sites, or through email, text or instant messages, they may also include offensive content, spam or malicious software.
- You can also direct children to the Thinkuknow website, where they can watch films and play games on how to stay safer online.
- Consider creating family rules which you will all agree to on online use, including not giving out personal information, or not talking to strangers without discussing it.
- Remind children that they should never meet up with someone that they have met online without you or another adult going with them.
Cyberbullying is the term used to define bullying behaviour that takes place via mobile phone or over the internet through emails, instant messaging and social networking websites. Texts, messages or images are sent or posted on sites, which hurt, intimidate or embarrass another person.
Some gamers play simply to harass and taunt other players using bad language, cheating or attacking other gamers. Find out how the games service monitors players and responds to abuse. For example, Xbox Live helps gamers to protect their identities and report incidents with their 'File a Complaint' option
Some adults may try to earn the trust of gamers by pretending to be kids, sharing tips on how to win, or giving gifts like points. They may be trying to run a scam or arrange a phone call or a meeting in person.
- Never share information about themselves or their family with other players.
- Protect game accounts with strong passwords.
- Make up a safe gamer name that cannot be linked to a real name.
Check the game for age rating and theme