Our children have never lived in a world without technology, social media and internet. Have you ever considered it? Our children find spending hours in front a screen the most natural thing in this world. We have advised you many times to use technology to help your children and youth learn English naturally. This includes watching videos, cartoons, or films in English. Learning opportunities should be seized as many as possible. You need to establish clear rules to prevent your children spending too much time on a computer screen. We have discussed them on our blog. While browsing online.
Social gaming: What dangers can be gaming platforms conceal for children?
Social gaming platform
Video games are a favorite pastime of our children. Each platform connects to the Internet, giving access to chat rooms that allow players to communicate with each other, voice interaction, and private messages. This can make it easy for children to make inappropriate friends. The Parental Control feature of each platform comes in our aid once again.
PlayStation – You can create a “master” account as well as sub accounts for your children on the platform. Based on the date of their birth, the filter will enable us to limit certain actions for our children’s account. We can, for example, prevent them from communicating or viewing other players content, and set a monthly spending limit.
Nintendo: The Nintendo Game Console allows you to connect to Diverse (a network that allows users to share their online gaming experiences). This company is so concerned about the safety of children online that it created a page explaining how parents can set up Parental Controls for Nintendo devices.
Xbox Live: Xbox Live is a service that allows you make friends, chat with other players and establish voice connections before or during your game. We recommend that you change the platform settings to prevent your children from accepting friend requests or being contacted online.
These social gaming platforms now offer the ability to play online via live streaming on YouTube Gaming and Twitch, allowing you to join real communities of players from all ages.
It is crucial that children don’t accept friendships from strangers or dubious accounts. They also need to be careful about sharing personal information and photos. However, when creating an account, we must ensure that the filters are set to block inappropriate content. We must also check the classification of the game based on Pegi (Pan European Game Information).
YouTube and Twitch are not just for social gaming. Teens use both platforms to stream (as they call it in the jargon, which comes from the English word stream which means stream content) any type of content, including live music, make-up tutorials, or just to share your daily life with others, much like you do on other social networks. These streams are often held in one’s bedroom. The greatest danger is sharing personal information with strangers and letting them into your home. Many social media networks allow sharing photos and videos.
Social networks: What are the dangers? How to protect children and teens.
Each social network has its own usage policy that sets the minimum age for users. In most cases, you need to be at least 13 to sign up to the main social networks. Many social networks are popular with younger children. In fact, it is not unusual for children aged 8-10 to have their own social accounts.
Sharing personal information
You can have private chats with your friends where you can share photos, videos, and messages. Many social networks use the location of your phone. Unwittingly, children might share personal information with strangers.
This is a worrying trend that is becoming more common. It starts with insults directed at other children or young people. Sometimes it begins with harmless jokes and then turns into real online attacks on groups or individuals.
One of the biggest dangers in social networks is that not all users are who they claim to be. Our children could be approached and manipulated by people with malicious intent. It’s not only fake teenagers that should be worried about. Sexting, which is the practice of exchanging photos and videos with other people, is becoming more popular among boys. These messages are often shared online to poke fun at the sender.
These problems can be reported on all social media platforms and messaging apps. Below are the links to pages that provide information on online safety for some of the most popular social media platforms and applications used by children.
Instagram Help Center
YouTube Community Guidelines
Safety and moderation in Twitch
Snapchat Security Center
You may have noticed that we did not include Facebook in our list. This is because younger people are less likely to use Facebook. In all likelihood, our parents have accounts on Facebook but our children don’t. It is worth looking at the Facebook Safety Center, which contains a variety of information about how to protect your child online and ensure your well-being. Avoid sharing intimate images without permission and avoid online bullying.