By Madison Forster

In todays world of online gaming, it can be exciting for people to play their favorite video games with others all over the world, play in tournaments, and connect with new people. Although there are benefits, there will always be people out there that have bad intentions. It is important to make sure your children know the risks and how to play safely.

What are the Risks?

  • People pretending to be someone they are not.
  • People can try and gain your trust and get you to share personal information.
  • Use your information to hack your accounts, steal money, post embarrassing things on your personal accounts.
  • Bullying
  • Hearing inappropriate things

Unless your children are being watched at all times while online gaming, its important they know these risks, and know how they can protect themselves.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Know how the game works. As a parent, know what the players are capable of doing in the game. Are they able to send pictures? Video chat? Knowing the risks of the game can help you decide if it is appropriate for their age.
  • Monitor when they play. It might not be possible to be watching their every move while they play, but having them play in a common living area or with their door open can help ensure they are staying safe.
  • Set up parental controls. As a parent, it might put you at ease to know you can set limits to how long your children play, as well as block games that you don’t want them playing. Game consoles such as Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation all have these features.
  • Play with people they know. This is hands down the safest way for your children to play online games, with friends and family that they have met in person.
  • Block feature. Make sure your children know how to use the block feature. If they get bad vibes from someone they are playing with, there is nothing wrong with blocking someone. They should feel safe and be having fun, so they should not feel bad about blocking someone to ensure that.
  • Don’t give out personal information. Make sure your children know the risks of playing with strangers, and never give our personal information. They should not trust any stranger enough to give out their name, age, where they live, or their phone number. Even something like the name of their pets, this is often a security question when trying to log into personal accounts.

“As long as you play with people you know, don’t give away personal information, take advantage of the block feature, and use common sense you should be safe” (

Discussion Questions:

  1. What information should you never share with strangers online?
  2. How do you know if someone is who they say they are?
  3. Have you ever not liked someone you have played with? What have you done about it?
  4. Have you ever heard a stranger say something that you didn’t like? Did you do anything about it?
  5. What could someone do if they had your personal information?


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