Online games are popular with children of all ages. Games can be educational or purely for fun. Some games allow interactivity with other players online, some have high levels of violent or sexual content. Check the age guidelines and ratings to help guide your child's online game use. Some online games encourage team work and interaction with others online. This can include adults.
Overall, children and young people will be best protected if they keep their personal information to themselves in online games and don’t engage in personal conversations.
If children are using sites that enable direct interaction with others, it is a good idea for you to supervise their interactions and to establish rules about the information they are allowed to share with others. Setting rules about what to do if they encounter disturbing content or contact from others is also useful.
In a world with limitless online possibilities for entertainment, young people can stumble across and engage in online gambling through online games. Applications on social media sites often require users to purchase credits to play games, access special features and give virtual gifts. It’s important that children understand the differences between simple gaming and that of gambling online.
Gambling in games is very risky for young people, and can interfere with their schooling and social life.
What are the risks?
The risks of online games should be understood by anyone who enjoys them.
- risks from social interactions with strangers
- risks from computer intruders exploiting security vulnerabilities
- risks from online and real-world predators
- risks from viruses and spyware.