Follow us along our #SummerSafety series, where we’ll be highlighting various tips for staying safe while using various digital channels. For more information on how TextNow is helping keeping customers safe, click here.
With lockdown and social distancing turning so many of us (and our kids) toward online gaming, now is a perfect time to brush up on some online safety tips to keep you, and your family, safely gaming the summer away.
Here are five tips to make your summer of gaming a safe one!
- Choose a safe nickname. This is a surprisingly overlooked aspect of online gaming. A safe online nickname is one that doesn’t reveal any personal information — so for example, your real name (obviously), or birthdate, or any location info like your hometown, or your school’s name.
- Don’t give out any personal information over game voice chats or messages. Don’t respond to people asking for your real name or location. In fact, depending on the game, you can set voice chat to only chat with pre-approved people, or even to turn it off entirely. The basic rule of thumb here is: Avoid any giving out any information that could reveal who you are.
- Be careful about who you’re playing with publicly. Many online games have private and public options. Private means that access to the game is limited to the people you invite to play, whereas public means anyone can join. Many gaming services (including The Playstation and Xbox) will have settings that restrict sessions to people on your friends list, or other ways of blocking random people from joining.
- And speaking of consoles, you should definitely look at the parental controls and other security settings available. Most consoles have settings where you can set passwords for user accounts, set timers to restrict the length of game sessions, and other fun stuff.
5. Report bullying and griefing. Bullying in online gaming is depressingly common place. There’s even a term for people who take enjoyment from wrecking other people’s games or online experience: Games and online services will have options to report other players who are bullying or griefing people. Don’t be afraid to use them!
And for more info about internet safety, check out our other posts in our Summer Safety series.