Safe Online Gaming

IDWise Logo

Mobile apps, online video games, connected gaming consoles—chances are your children are enamored with at least one or two. Many of these platforms are educational, as well as fun. But there are pitfalls too, like privacy concerns, hidden fees, and online safety issues. Here are the best ways to help your child stay safe while gaming online.

Check the Content Ratings

Make sure that the games your child is playing are appropriate for his or her age group. You can set controls to filter games by their content rating.

Set and Monitor Controls

Online mobile app stores and most smartphones have parental controls to manage kids' purchases and app use. Among other options, you can:

  • Restrict app content by age, making sure your kids can't download apps or make in-app purchases without parental approval
  • Disable any location-sharing features, which means for online games that are played in a browser, you should check that browser's control settings

Monitor Your Child's Game Usage

If possible, keep your computer or game system in a common area. This will allow you to:

  • Keep track of what games your children play
  • Ask questions and initiate conversation if necessary

Beware of In-Game Chat

Many online games allow players to interact with one another via instant messaging or even voice messaging. We recommend:

  • Seting parental controls that block chat for all but pre-chosen users
  • Talking with your child about the importance of never giving out personal information in chat

Most importantly, parents should consider limiting chat to real-life friends and family. Our Identity Ecosystem project has found that even seemingly innocuous information can be vulnerable.

Keep the Conversation Going

Ask your child what games and apps they like to play. That way you can set clear rules and expectations about how long they can play each day. This will also allow you to:

  • Know who they interact with or share personal information with while playing
  • Make a plan as a family for dealing with inappropriate behavior from other players
IDWise Logo
What is IDWise?

Funded by a partnership with the Texas Legislature, and powered by the Center for Identity, IDWise is a resource center for the public on identity theft, fraud, and privacy. IDWise offers clear and accessible resources to empower citizens—both online and offline—to be better informed and make smarter choices to protect their personal information.

IDWise Logo

Funded by a partnership with the Texas Legislature, and powered by the Center for Identity, IDWise is a resource center for the public on identity theft, fraud, and privacy.

Learn More