Expert offers online gaming safety tips for your child

InvestigateTV – Video games can be fun and social, but experts say kids are at risk of cyberbullying and hacking when playing online.

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

Cyberbullying can get worse while gaming, especially in chat windows, said Andrey Sidenko, web content analyst for cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

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

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

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

“They can choose your child in a general chat channel, then start sending personal messages, then ask for detailed personal information,” Sidenko explained.

Sidenko added that if cybercriminals get your child’s real name, they might look for other social media accounts and try to log in 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 turn off the chat feature. Sidenko said that way you don’t have to worry about your child accidentally sharing personal information.

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

He urged parents to find out about all the games their child likes to play.

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

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