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If your kids are about to get their first gaming console this Christmas, it’s only natural to be nervous about the big, wide world of online gaming.

But as with anything parenting-related, knowledge is power. So we’ve enlisted the help of gaming powerhouse Xbox to share some important information about online gaming, and how you can help keep your kids safe.

Xbox has creating a Gaming Safety Toolkit, to help lift the veil on the world of online gaming, and help parents feel empowered. The Toolkit provides detailed information on supporting kids to game safely and responsibly. It also has age-specific advice and recommendations to help parents learn about common safety risks.

The Toolkit was created with the advice and support of the eSafety Commissioner and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, as well as other trusted bodies, and includes sections on Parental Controls, Bullying, In-game Purchases and Grooming.

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To get you started on your parental online gaming education journey, here’s an overview of how you can help keep your kids safe while gaming online.

Be involved

When it comes to keeping kids safe while they’re having fun online, one of the most important things we can do as parents, is to be involved. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to learn how to play Fortnite or Roblox, but showing some interest will help kids open up about what they’re doing.

It’s like any other part of your kids’ lives – their sport, schoolwork, dance, art – it’s about showing that you’re involved. And once you’ve become involved, work on co-creating boundaries and rules with your kids, so they feel part of the process.

Promote privacy and good cyber habits

Help your kids realise the importance of online privacy and good cyber hygiene by modelling it yourself. Chat about using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, as well as thinking carefully about what we share online. A great way to start this conversation is by always asking your kids’ permission before you post anything about them online. The experts at Xbox recommend having a look at Minecraft’s Home Sweet Hmm and Privacy Prodigy games for fun ways to learn about privacy and safety.

Talk about respect

Respect works whether you’re in person or online. Sometimes this is a difficult concept for kids to grasp, when they’re not face to face with the person they’re playing with. But it’s essential to explain that if you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, you shouldn’t say it online.

Stay calm

It can be easy to loose your cool, but reserve your judgement so that your kids will always feel comfortable talking to you if they need support. Get them to regularly open up to you about when they’re doing online and get involved in their gaming, so they know the lines of communication are always open.

To get your family online gaming safety journey started, download the Xbox Gaming Safety Toolkit.

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  • I just hate the idea of online gaming.

    Reply

  • The later you allow your children on gaming the better. And lay down boundaries. It’s easier to allow more privileges than to take them away. And always know what your child is playing. Avoid games needing internet access as much as possible

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  • I personally don’t think that kids should have access to this type of thing until they are at least 11. There are so many dangers, not to mention targeted advertising to tempt them to buy extra things.

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  • As an online gamer myself, I sometimes get absolutely appalled with how I hear not only children but adults talk to each other on online gaming platforms. I will ensure to keep open communication with my son when he is old enough so he can come to me with anything he experiences and teach him tools on how to deal with it (as well as monitoring safely myself).

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  • I find help tool amazing. There are a lot of parents out there who have no idea about the dangers of online gaming and kids are so smart at being online now we need to be one step ahead of them. Not because they are dangerous but because there are dangers that lurk online to prey on our kids.

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  • I find this a really stressful thing to deal with

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  • Really great advice here. Parents really need to be all over this

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  • Luckily we just have nintendo for now. No online gaming as mine are too young. But great article and good information

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  • Fortunately we are not interested in any forms of gambling. Even the tv ads will now tell you that you will lose.

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  • So far we’ve managed to fend off all forms of online gaming.


    • Very good ! What age are your kids ?

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  • Some really good advise here. I hate console games, my 13yr old has one at his dad’s house but none at my place.

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  • Thanx for sharing, some great advice !

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  • There is a distinct lack of interest in online gaming in this household.
    A good article with helpful tips for those that do participate in online gaming.


    • Console games are enjoyed but not online.

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  • lots of great advice here. my kids are years away hopefully

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  • I’m worried about my boys all the time. They are only four. Luckily too young to go online.

    Reply

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