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Online games can be great fun for children, but there are several risks involved, which you can reduce with the correct approach.

Research game websites and apps that are specifically there for children, and get advice from people you trust about those that their kids use.

More and more children – especially older ones – are playing online multiplayer games, even though many have age certificates. You may be able to monitor and control this, but more and more children are using their mobile devices for gaming, which makes this more difficult. Also, if your child is at a friend’s house, you may not know what they’re doing in their gaming world.

Talk to your child about why games publishers put out games for people of certain ages … to protect them from the type of age-inappropriate content and images they would be best not to see.

Talk to them about communicating with online strangers in games: even though they may seem friendly, their motives may not be. If they play games that involve buying and selling ‘in game property’, there’s a risk of fraud, as many parents who have had their credit card maxed out have found.

The other point of concern to many parents is the amount of time that their children spend online. Gaming can be a major part of this, often to the exclusion of socialising and healthy physical activity, and instead involving little movement and maybe living on junk food. Monitor the amount of time your children spend online and speak to them about the issues.


These pages have been compiled with the kind assistance of  Norton and  Neighbourhood Watch