When it comes to parenting one of the hardest jobs that you have is to keep your child safe and the reason that this job is so hard is that there are dangers everywhere, including online. So as a responsible parent it is up to you to find out about the dangers of online gaming and then make sure that your child is informed. But in addition to that there are other things that you can do to make sure that your child is safe on the Internet while playing online games.
Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind as parents to keep your children safe online while playing online games.
The first thing that you should do as a parent is to make sure that your computer is in a central location, basically where the entire family can have access to it. No matter how tempting it might be, do not give your child a computer in their room. By having the computer in their room kids might turn to it as some type of escape; the computer should not be an escape from the family, it should be a family activity. By having the computer in a central location you minimize the chance of your child using it as an escape.
As a parent you most likely know all of your child’s friends in the physical world, the cyber world shouldn’t be any different. Most parents want to get to know the people that their children are involved with before they allow their children to play or hang out with them for an extended amount of time. Your children’s online friends shouldn’t get any different type of treatment, although it may be harder to get to know their online friends you still have to make it a priority. You can start by talking to your children about the people they are communicating with, ask questions about where they live, how old they are, what school they go to, etc.
Don’t let your child spend too much time online. Be sure to limit the amount of time they are on each day. By limiting the time spent online the children will more likely turn to their real friends when problems arise rather than somebody online, keep in mind that predators prey on troubled teens.
Use parental control features that come with your computer or purchase software that adds parental controls to your computer. Using the parental controls will allow your children the freedom of using the Internet and receiving email, but only you as a parent can deem who they can accept email from. These controls will also make it easier for you to decide which online gaming sites are the most appropriate for your child and they will only allow your child to visit those sites.
You can also use software that prevents your children from giving out personal information online, which can include name, address, and phone numbers. This kind of software is perfect if you are not at home while your child is on the computer. You can also make it a family rule that they can not be online unless an adult is at home.
The most important thing that you can do is to talk to your children about the online dangers. Make sure that they understand why you don’t give out personal information and why you should never meet somebody in real life that they have met online without parents being present. You should also talk to your children about what cyberstalkers look for and make sure that they understand that just because they are honest doesn’t mean everybody else online will be honest online.