Mount Equity Group Market Watch: How to Keep Kids Safe from Gaming Scams

Online gaming has long been a concern for many parents. On the one hand, games allow children to develop various skills like problem-solving. They also teach them how to commit to long-term goals and work in a team. Playing together can also be an excellent opportunity to strengthen family ties. On the other hand, many games contain violent content.

Therefore, your child may unknowingly expose themselves to inappropriate images. Moreover, given their young age, children are easier targets for scammers. And there are many of those who try to profit from gamers these days.

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For example, kids are more likely to easily hand over personal information to players they relate to. So, what are the dangers children face while playing games online and how can you keep them safe?

The Perils of Online Gaming for Kids

Online gaming entails many risks for children. Let’s take a closer look at them:

Online Bullying

Children’s lives have partially moved to the Internet. This is where they learn, entertain, and socialize. Unfortunately, many bullies are present in the online environment too.

Cyberbullying can take many forms. Spreading fake rumors, posting embarrassing materials, or harassing children can lead to long-term psychological effects. Kids’ self-confidence can suffer tremendously as a result of cyberbullying.

This can negatively affect a child’s future, so you need to protect them any way you can.

Online Gaming Addiction

Online games are easily accessible to children. Therefore, it’s equally easy for them to become addicted to these games. The line between fun and addiction is often thin, especially at a young age.

A game-addicted child may have difficulty sleeping and concentrating. Consequently, this can affect their performance at school. Moreover, they can even develop anxiety issues by becoming too immersed in the virtual world. Focusing more on games than on relationships with other kids won’t boost their social skills.

Malicious Software

Sometimes, children may download game plug-ins. These may be malicious programs, depending on their source. Thus, it’s important to tell kids not to download anything unless they consult you first.

Furthermore, by browsing online they can land on fake gaming websites. Here, they can unknowingly download malicious software. These programs can damage devices and compromise their security. Cybercriminals can also infect game files children installs on their PCs with dangerous viruses.

Therefore, keep a close eye on what your kid downloads and plays.

In-Game Purchases

In-game purchases pose the risk of losing money. To become more successful at a game, you can use in-game items. These can speed up your progress or unlock extra features.

But to gain these benefits, you must pay. And kids are more likely to spend on these add-ons. Therefore, safeguard your money by limiting their access to your cards.

Problems with Privacy

If hackers manage to bypass a games’ security measures, they may gain access to your device. For example, they can hack your kid’s social media accounts. Additionally, they can obtain sensitive personal data from your PC. They will also be able to create fake accounts by impersonating your child.

Undisclosed Fees

Game developers often market their games as free. However, after the installation, they charge for additional functions and features.

You may want to check if your child spends too much on games. If this becomes a problem, you can limit their pocket money. Alternatively, encourage them to buy other useful things such as books.

Tips For Parents to Protect Kids from Gaming Scams

Set parental controls

Fortunately, most online games and devices provide parental controls. So, you can monitor your children’s gaming activity.

Set time limits

Limit the time your child can play. Parental controls enable you to do this. And make sure your kid takes regular breaks.

Find out what the game is about

Each game has an age limit. Games with violent content are intended for older children. In the end, it’s up to you to decide if a game is suitable for your kid. Also, browse for information about the game on the Internet. Read reviews of other parents whose children have already played the game.

Teach your child to choose usernames wisely

A username shouldn’t reveal your child’s real name. Don’t let kids provide any personal information while creating game profiles. Their name, address, age, school, or account password are information they shouldn’t share.

Teach your child how to report misconduct

If someone attacks or harasses your child while playing online games, teach them how to block them. Moreover, players should report these users to the support department.

Use antivirus on your child’s device

Make sure your child has a reliable antivirus on their device. Any decent antivirus will block malware and viruses in real-time.

Talk to your kid about gaming habits

Talk to your child regularly about how to stay safe online. Explain the differences between good and bad online behavior and provide examples. Also, encourage them to share any disturbing experiences they might have while playing online games.

For more information and tips, visit Mount Equity Group.