Roblox, Fortnite, Apex legends and other online games
We need to be aware that any game with online access, and particularly chat features, hold an inherent risk if used unsupervised.
This doesn't mean children should never play online games, or that they should be blocked from them forever, but as a family team, it's a good idea to understand how to manage those risks to keep everyone as safe as possible.
It's a bit like learning to ride a bike. If they never take their feet off the ground, they'll never get going, and you don't want to ban learning, but you always make sure they're wearing a safety helmet.
What are the risks?
- Children may view inappropriate or upsetting content if they play games that aren't suitable for their age. This could include sexual or violent material. It might be in-game content or produced by other players.
- Some players can be abusive towards others or try to exclude them from the game. Some players may also hack another user's account or try to steal and destroy their virtual possessions. This can be as upsetting for a young person as if it happened in real life.
- Children may play with adults they don't know. People of all ages play games. Some adults may exploit this and try to build an emotional connection with a child for the purpose of grooming.
- Some children may find it hard to stop playing games or find that gaming is getting the way of them doing other activities.
5 ways to help children play safe
1. Check the game's content
2. Make sure you both know how to mute, block and report
3. Be Share Aware
4. Activate safety settings together
5. Monitor your child's use with their support
6. Keep the conversation going with your child at all times.
Can You Play It Safety?
In March 2017 Roblox included some extra parental controls or account restrictions. It is possible to set the account restrictions in all accounts including 13+ accounts.
How to set Roblox with Parental Controls
Make sure your child has an under 13yrs account. On sign up set your child’s real age. Under 13+ accounts have some filters and restrictions already set.
Make sure your child does not use a real name to sign up, and has a long and secure password that they know not to share with anyone other than you.
Your child can set up an adult or over 13+ account on the same device, make sure your child only has one account with the correct age.
If your child has not set their age to the correct setting you can change their age back to under 13+ with your consent.
Log into the game via the app or website and then go to settings/account info and provide your parent email address. Make sure your child doesn’t have access to your email account.
When you have received an email from Roblox to verify your email, follow the link to set a 4 digit PIN that your child cannot guess also in settings/security. This prevents your child changing the restrictions.
Enable Account Restrictions in Settings/Security.
For extra security set 2 Step Verification to prevent your child’s account from being hacked.
Whilst in settings go to the privacy settings and select which parental controls you wish your child’s account to have.
Also turn off notifications in settings, if your child isn’t going to be playing with friends online for extra security
Make sure your child’s social media accounts are not listed in the settings/Account info. If they are, make them private or remove them.
Also make sure your child doesn’t reveal personal information in settings/Account Info
What Do The Parental Controls Do?
If the strictest account restrictions are set on an under 13yr old account:
Your child will not see any messaging or in-game chat.
Your child will be restricted from joining games that have adult content such as violent games, or any games with adult themes.
Your child will still get random friend requests. Check the requests tab and “Ignore” them
Your child will still encounter other players who may be unkind, but your child won’t be able to communicate with them
Older children may really want to contact friends in the game, so an open dialogue may mean that you are able to help deal with any risks, perhaps checking in before accepting anyone, and not accepting anyone you don't know in real life.
How do I monitor my child’s account?
To view the account's website chat history with other players, you will need to open the Chat & Party window, located in the bottom-right of the page. Once this window is opened, you may click on any of the listed users to open a window with the chat history with that particular account.
Can I block someone?
If you are on the website and want to remove an account's ability to contact you completely, visit the user's profile page and click the three dots in the upper right corner of the box containing their username and friends/followers information. After that, a menu will pop up containing the option to block them. If you are in a game and want to block another user, you can do this as well.
Further information on blocking is available from Roblox here.
What can I do if there problems, like online abuse?
Look for the Click CEOP button on most websites. this will take you through to the Report Abuse page. For more information, Click here.
Please don't forget, the strongest protection is the conversations you have with your child about how to keep safe online. If they are comfortable talking to you about any concerns, and understand where you are coming from, they are much more likely to be able to help you protect them.
New games such as Apex Legends are coming out all the time - keep up to date with new developments with