Safe Online Gaming: Rules for Young Gamers and Parents

Safe Online Gaming: Rules for Young Gamers and Parents

Parents often feel that they lack healthy human interaction and social skills when their children play online. However, many parents don’t realize that online games can be just as useful tools as books, movies, or sports, each in their way, says Andrey Sidenko, Kaspersky’s online child safety expert.

According to research by Kaspersky, videos and YouTube are the main activities children are interested in online, and particular searches are related to video games (32.3%). Many parents are unaware that games are not only fun, but surprisingly, they can also help improve useful skills, perform at school, and form better relationships with other people. Games as an educational tool
Not only do books, films, or art have a positive effect on a child’s development, but games should also be on the list! Today many beautiful and complex games require a child to sharpen their fine motor skills, increase their attention, encourage perseverance, and teach them to make quick decisions and plan, sometimes even several steps at a time.

Some games, for example, Minecraft, are popular not only among students, but also among teachers, and not so long ago a special version with tasks for various school subjects was released. Multiplayer games are a great way to improve communication and teamwork skills, while simulators let the imagination run wild. A recent study by the Institute for Cognitive Neurosciences at the Ruhr University Bochum states that some of the areas of the brain responsible for learning are better developed in gamers. In addition, the study showed that children who played more than 15 hours a week performed better on a critical thinking test than those who only played occasionally.

Playing video games does not lead to violent behavior
The media, and thus the general public, often associate violent video games with real violence. Debate on the issue usually intensifies after the mass public shootings we see on the news, with some commentators tying these acts of violence to the perpetrators’ interests in violent video games.

But many studies are showing that there is little or no connection between gambling and aggression. For example, the results of the 2019 report published in the journal Royal Society Open Science did not support the hypothesis that using the current operationalization of violent games, there are statistically significant associations between violent games and aggressive behavior in adolescents. A new City University London study finds no evidence that violence is increasing following the release of a new video game.

Okay let them play but streaming is a waste of time.There is another gambling pastime that became popular among teenagers. It’s live streaming, an activity where people stream themselves while playing in front of a live online audience. The audience for these streaming services is huge. According to Nielsen, streaming video has a higher market share than TV shows. It’s really hard for parents to share this addiction and understand why streaming is so appealing to their kids. Most likely, they are interested in seeing a game that they cannot play themselves.

But we adults often spend our free time watching TV shows, and not always the smart ones! Maybe that’s more of a waste of time than streaming? Shows are like sports and you will relate to them if you are a sports fanatic! Cyber ​​Threats to Gamers: Here’s What Your Kids Need to Know gaming accounts contain a lot of valuable information and people with malicious or malicious intent look for these accounts. As the player levels up, buys in-game gear, collects loot (valuables obtained in virtual battles in-game), and the blogger earns views, the accounts gain special value and the account can be easily sold on the black market

According to Kaspersky, the study costs between $0.50 and $8 on the dark web for a single account on any entertainment or streaming service, including Twitch. The best way to protect your accounts is to use strong passwords. Explain to your children that safe gaming is only possible if they only use legitimate resources and exercise extreme caution when installing a game.

Attacks on gamers increased exponentially during the pandemic. According to Kaspersky, from January 2020 to May 2021, the most commonly used games as bait were Minecraft and Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS: GO). They also fall into the ratings of the most popular games used as bait Dota, Warcraft, and PUBG.

Gamer Bait contains promises of free versions of popular games, updates, and cheats. In the fall of 2020, when the entire gaming world was waiting for the release of Cyberpunk 2077, various sites reportedly gave the game away for free. When users were tempted to click the “Download” button on any of the fake resources, they ended up with malware on their computers. The program allegedly requested a license key to activate the game. To get it, users had to complete a survey and provide their phone number and email address. Nothing happened at the end of the survey: users were left with a game that didn’t go beyond the splash screen, while scammers were given more contact information for another spam database. Safety Tips
Check the Rating: Not all games have content appropriate for all ages. Check the ratings of the games your kids are playing and make sure they are age-appropriate.
Make games a topic of discussion: If he doesn’t like the game, try offering him an alternative, like another game or fun and challenging offline activity. When a child spends too much time playing games, help them find other types of entertainment to connect with real-life and everyday people.
Control playtime together with your child: You can install a special app that controls screen time, but your child must know this beforehand. Cyber ​​Literacy is a Must – Teach your child about cyber literacy. Talk to them about how valuable their data is, how to protect it, and how to spot scams and phishing. Make it a rule to protect gaming and streaming accounts as careless handling of accounts can lead to unpleasant surprises such as loss of personal information or in some cases money.

If something seems too good to be true, it is most likely fake: a site that is giving away one of the most anticipated games for free before its release is fake.

Think twice before entering your information: This “think twice” spirit also applies to paying money or downloading unnecessary programs to gain access to a coveted file or key. Create unique and strong passwords for all accounts – do not share them with anyone and change passwords regularly. this applies to all online accounts, not just game accounts. The easiest way to do this is with a password manager.

Use a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Total Security
This security solution can detect cyber threats, block phishing sites and prevent browsing malicious sites. And there is a special game mode that you can turn on so that the solution doesn’t bother you or your child when playing.

Adults tend to have many prejudices that can make interacting with their children difficult. The world we live in today is different from the world of our childhood. It’s indeed much more digital, but we have to adapt to this new reality since our children are part of this modern world. Their interests may differ from ours, but there are advantages for us too, as children can teach us something and open up a new world for us as adults. So don’t be afraid to break your patterns and remember
that it’s your job to help your kids explore the digital world safely.