Smart devices and Games Consoles

Playing video games is a part of life for many children and adults and can be something that families can share together. It can be assuring that your child is at home and you know where they are. However, there are some risks to staying at home and and gaming too. Video games, social media and other platforms all connect to the internet and as a result can potentially increase the risk to children including: 

  • Cyberbullying
  • Trolling, griefing and scams
  • Seeing age-inappropriate content
  • Privacy problems and personal information stored on machines
  • Webcam hacking
  • Online predators
  • Hidden fees and online spending
  • Social engineering intended on exploiting children and young people or exposing them to radicalised information
  • Malware

There are simple steps you can take to help protect your child while using technology.

  • Establish a positive relationship with them around their online life – talk to them regularly about what they are doing online and discuss their experiences
  • Talk them about who they are talking to, do they know them in real life?
  • Establish rules with them about what they can and cannot share online – talk to your child(ren) to think about what they are sharing and they are sharing information with
  • Teach to them to think carefully about what they are sharing and who they are sharing with.
  • Establish rules with them such as how long your child(ren) can use games consoles, PCs or other internet-enabled devices. Make rules together about what they can and cannot do on devices and what webpages, games and media they can access.
  • Explain the worries you might have about what they are doing or something you have read or heard about – most children will understand your concerns.
  • Do your research, many games console manufacturers and game developers have specific pages to help parents understand the risks and have controls they can use to protect their child(ren)
  • Make sure they know they can come to you or an identified trusted adult if they see something that upsets or worries them
  • Have a family agreement about rules you are all comfortable with and agree to follow
  • Set up parental controls on your devices (NSPCC - Parental Controls)
  • Report any concerns you or your children have

(With thanks to the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children's Partnership)

You may also like to spend a few minutes watching a video created by Internet Matters by clicking on this link: