☰ Miss Camlin's Guest Blog: Staying safe when gaming online

Miss Camlin's Guest Blog: Staying safe when gaming online

Posted on: March 23rd 2018 | Category:

Keeping children safe online whilst allowing them to enjoy the incredible resources the internet offers, is an ongoing and constantly changing challenge. Online gaming has grown exponentially in recent years and concerns about the effects on children have made the news. Many children enjoy playing digital games in their spare time, however some of these games are played on the internet against other players. Many play using an assumed identity which, on one hand, hides a child’s identity, however, it also hides the identity of the other players. Therefore, it is difficult to know who you are really playing against.   

At Norfolk House School, we educate children on how to stay safe online. We discuss the importance of only talking to known friends online, ensuring that the games they are playing are age appropriate, not to reveal any personal information and to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable using the game’s report tool or to a trusted adult. Equally, at home, there are lots of things you can do to ensure your children are staying safe online.

We encourage all parents to continue to have regular conversations with their children about the games they are playing online and to establish together what games are suitable. Online stores like Google Play and the Apple App Store have passwords which you can set to ensure that children aren’t downloading games without permission. If your child is playing a game with someone online, ask who it is and what language is being used. Gaming sites often have ways of reporting abusive chat and excluding antisocial players. It is important to have a conversation with your children so they know how to do this. Furthermore, some games have privacy settings you can turn on which gives you control of who can interact with your child or see their profile. Unfortunately, there have been reports of extreme cases of bullying called ‘griefing’ which are used as a tactic to win games, which means children may find themselves being bullied or bullying others as part of the game. Therefore, encouraging children to tell a trusted adult either in school or at home if they feel uncomfortable is incredibly important.

If you have any concerns please feel free to contact me - gcamlin@norfolkhouseschool.org. Equally the NSPCC have a fantastic helpline and website if you would like any further information.

Helpline: 0808 800 5002.

Miss Gemma Camlin

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