Online gaming can be lots of fun. It’s certainly a good way to relieve stress or to make your day a little less boring when you are at home. There are different types of online games. Some are simple games that you can play on your own and others are multiplayer games that two or more than two people can play with each other.
However, as fun as online gaming can be, it can expose you to certain dangers, including cyberbullying, online harassment, and online predators. This is especially true if you are an avid online gamer and play against people you’ve never met in person.
Here are some of the safety measures you need to follow when gaming online:
1. Do not expose your true identity
First and foremost, it is very important to protect your identity at any given time when dealing with strangers on the internet as a child. When you create an account, make sure you stay anonymous or use a nickname that doesn’t reveal your real name. In addition, your avatar should not be a real picture of you. Never use a username which includes your first name and/or the last name.
2. Do not give any personal information
In many online games, you can talk to people through the game itself – a console network, chat site or gaming forum. You can also talk through an instant messenger, a headset, or video chat.
You should not, under any circumstances, reveal any personal information to the online community. This includes things like phone numbers and addresses, but it also includes little things like age, especially when you are underage.
A lot of adults meet teenagers online, pretend to be people of their age and talk with them until the teens feel safe talking to them about personal stuff. Always take help of an adult like a parent or teacher, when in doubt about sharing something.
3. You can always use the mute button
In games with voice chat components, make sure that your game settings are set to mute conversations. When playing online, people may say things that could hurt one another.
Hence, it is best to prevent the risk of bullying or trash talking online when you are playing with unknown people.
4. Block the player
If any situation makes you feel uncomfortable, you are free to block the person playing with you (but don’t get carried away). You can also report that player, as gaming manufacturers are now making sure that you have a safe online environment to play in, these reports are taken seriously.
If you are getting inappropriate contents from multiple accounts, then talk to your parents immediately about the problem before the situation gets worse.
5. Not everyone will be nice or the same age as you
People of different age, location, gender are playing online games. They can do nasty things such as bullying, sending inappropriate content, try to build friendship or relationship with you, trick or pressurize you.
Be aware of what parental control can do for you. This is a great opportunity to talk to parents about how parental controls work in online gaming. You might not be an expert yet, but at least having a conversation with them and listening to what they say about the dangers of online gaming can be of great help.