Safer Online Gaming
Practicing safe online habits can protect you and enhance your gaming experience. Here are some tips!
#1: Use Family Settings for Child and Teen Accounts
Your gaming console or platform likely offers a family or child account setting - take advantage of this for younger players! Features may include activity notifications, such as purchases, that you might not be aware of. This insight can help set time limits and ground rules when it comes to gaming, and give young people more balance in their daily life. Also, check the age ratings on games. Age ratings are there to help make sure you can enjoy games without seeing or hearing things that may upset or disturb you or you or younger players in your household.
#2: Keep Personal Information Personal
In all interactions online, protecting your identity is paramount to online safety. Set your privacy and security settings to their highest level, and do not give out any personal details to anyone online. Your personal information is very valuable to those who would wish to scam you.
#3: Stay Secure
Whenever possible, enable a second factor on your gaming logins. This gives you an extra layer of security between your account data and anyone who might have gotten ahold of your password.
Keep your gaming Wi-Fi environment secure; create a guest network that limits access to other computers on your network. If you are traveling, use a VPN for open networks.
Finally, don't believe everything you hear or read online. If it sounds too good to be true, such as in-game purchases, competitions, and perks such as in-game items (e.g. skins, weapons etc.), it most likely is.
#4: Take Breaks
Gaming safely also extends to your physical and mental health. Don't forget to take a few minutes to stretch, drink some water, and spend time with people you love. Your game will be there when you return.
#5: Have Fun in the Way That is Right for You
Don't feel pressured into talking to strangers while you're playing together. Many games have in-game features that allow you to communicate without using your voice. Additionally, if a player is violating the community standards for your gaming platform, do not hesitate to report and/or block them.
The content in this article was adapted from Top 5 Online Gaming Safety Tips from Xbox Ambassadors [11 Feb 2020] in honor of Safer Internet Day 2020.
Safer Internet Day aims to create a safer and better internet where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively. Not only is it a reminder to continue to make safe, welcoming, inclusive gaming a priority, but it’s also a call to action for everyone to practice safe online habits in every experience.