Expert offers online gaming safety tips for children

Bullying and hacking are potential risks
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 3:55 PM EDT
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InvestigateTV - Video games can be fun and social, but according to experts, children are at risk from cyberbullying and hacking when they are online gaming .

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) reports that 70% of families have at least one child who plays video games.

Cyberbullying can escalate while gaming, especially in the chat windows, said Andrey Sidenko, a web content analyst with cyber security company Kaspersky.

Sidenko said parents can report offenders by taking a screenshot of offensive conversations and sending it to the game administrators.

Your child’s online ID could also open them up for harassment. Sidenko said they should never create user IDs with any part of their real names or nicknames.

He also stressed that you should teach your child never to give out their address, geo-location or login credentials and password in a chat window.

“They may single out your child in a general chat channel and then start sending personal messages, then ask for detailed personal information,” explained Sidenko.

Sidenko added that if cyber criminals get your child’s real name, they could search other social media accounts and try to connect there as well, or even use stolen passwords on those social accounts.

Two easy ways to protect your child are to cover any webcam on their gaming device and to disable the chat feature. Sidenko said this way you don’t have to worry about your child sharing personal information accidentally.

Sidenko also recommended that you disable any in-game purchases, especially if your credit card is tied to an account.

He urged parents to so read up on every game their child likes to play.

For more information, check out the Family Gaming Guide created by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).