How much do you know about your child’s favourite online game? Safer Internet Day 2022

Family playing on gaming device

Gaming is a very popular activity for children of all ages to have fun and connect with friends online. The list of benefits is huge, but there are some risks too.

Whether it’s Fortnite or Fifa, talking to your child about what they’re doing online is an important tool in helping to keep them safe. Having an activity to do together can be a great way to start talking.

This Safer Internet Day the NSPCC are challenging parents and carers to host an online games event to encourage you to start a conversation around online safety.

 


Use GAME to help get you started

G - Get to know the platform

Challenge your child on their favourite gaming platform. Creating your own account and exploring the game yourself will help you understand the different tools and settings available and what your child sees and experiences.

A - Ask open questions

Give your child an opportunity to talk about why they enjoy gaming and show you what they already know about online safety.

  • What’s your favourite game to play online?
  • If you could change one thing about gaming, what would it be?
  • How do you speak to some of your friends online?
  • What’s your favourite feature?
  • Is there anything that’s not so great about this game or any other games you play?

M - Master the basics together

Explore how to report and block other players on the platform, leave a game and set up group play safely. Remind them they can come to you if they see anything that upsets or worries them.

E - Explore privacy and safety settings 

Decide which settings are appropriate to use. You might want to look at the platform or gaming providers websites for more information on what is available.

I made sure parental controls were on by speaking to my internet provider.

Parent

Tips to help

Check whether the game is age-appropriate

Make sure to check the age-rating of a game and explore the different features to check it’s appropriate for your child. The age rating system is provided by PEGI and gives an overview of individual games which can help you to decide if it's appropriate. Read our Online Games Hub for more information.

Be aware of location sharing

Some games use GPS technology so players can move around to different locations to play. Explore location settings on your child’s device and agree rules about when and where they can play.

Get to know communication features

Talk to your child about the different communication features available on their favourite game. Make sure to explore whether there are any settings available that help to limit contact.

Do you need more advice?

Parents and carers should have all the information they need to help keep kids safe online - but sometimes the specifics can be hard to find. That's why we've  collected everything you need to know in our online safety hub.

The information is organised by topic, to make everything easy to find. We have pages for social media, online gaming and parental controls, explaining the risks and steps you can take to help keep your kids safe online.  We also cover what parents need to know about topics such as sharing nudes, livestreaming, harmful content and reporting online safety issues

Worried about a child?

If you're worried about something a child or young person may have experienced online, you can contact the NSPCC helpline for free support and advice. Call us on 0808 800 5000 or contact us online.

Children can contact Childline any time to get support themselves.

Get support