Online Safety Tips for Gaming

Online Safety Tips for Gaming

In a world where over 5 billion people use the internet1, our kids’ online safety is more important than ever.

Apps, video games, messaging services, and social media – with so many different online platforms available, it’s hard to keep track of what they get up to on their devices.

As a result, we need to find ways to keep children safe online, as well as educate ourselves on the potential risks and dangers.

And that’s on top of everything else. Making sure they eat their greens, checking they understand their homework, getting them ready for bed on time…

The list goes on and on.

And – may we add – you’re doing an awesome job.

Give yourself a clap. Go on.

The digital world has created new and exciting ways for children to have fun, but it hasn’t made things much easier for us grown-ups.

Did you know that, on average, parents only spend 46 minutes discussing online safety with their children? And that’s during their entire childhood. Mindboggling, right?

We could say we wish it was like the good old days (before the internet was a thing) when kids spent most of their free time outside, but we’d be lying.

Because technology can benefit children in amazing ways: supporting interactive online learning, inspiring them to explore their creativity, fostering a sense of belonging, keeping family and friends connected, and providing access to a wealth of knowledge. All this and much, much more.

Talk to your child about online safety (and make it fun)

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry.

Our Build & Talk resource is a fun way to approach the subject of digital safety and well-being, all while getting creative with LEGO in the comfort of your own home.

Simply grab some bricks and download the activity pack, which is filled with conversation-starters around screen time, cyberbullying, privacy, and safely sharing information online.

When it comes to making screen time for children more balanced, it’s essential you keep communicating. Set aside time to chat through these topics and emphasize that you’re happy to discuss any questions or concerns your child might have.

Do they have someone to talk to?

On that point, make sure your child knows who they can speak to if they feel uncomfortable because of something they’ve experienced online. If it’s not you, then maybe there’s another adult in their life they would want to reach out to.

In addition, empower your child to protect themselves and others by talking to them about reporting tools. Built into most social media platforms and apps, reporting tools allow users to flag and report inappropriate, harmful, or abusive content and block and report instances of cyberbullying or harassment.

By teaching our children how to behave online and to be mindful and respectful of other internet users, we can raise them to be good digital citizens.

Look into kid-friendly apps and platforms

There’s some comfort in knowing that the app or platform your child is using is kid-friendly. But how do you tell which ones are safe?

We advise you to do your research, read the terms and conditions, check privacy settings, get recommendations from other parents, and always check if an app has a specific age limit.

You can also safeguard your child’s online time (and receive some much-needed reassurance) by familiarizing yourself with verifiable parental consent (VPC).

This is the process by which online apps and platforms obtain permission from a parent or guardian before collecting a child’s personal information or allowing them to access certain features.

Our social apps, such as LEGO Life and LEGO® Super Mario™, require VPC. All you have to do is provide ID verification or credit card details. Don’t worry. You won’t be charged and no identification or banking information will be stored.

So while your kids are connecting and creating, you can keep up-to-date with their in-app activity and have full control over which features they can use.

We get it. Online safety can be a scary topic, but it doesn’t have to be.

As you and your children navigate an increasingly digital world, here are 10 online safety tips inspired by our partner UNICEF. From knowing where to seek help to understanding privacy risks, this useful resource will enable you to start securing your family’s screen time today.