Knowing where you can find online game information is essential in ensuring you keep your children safe while online. Did you know Playstation online activity, including Online ID and public statements, may be recorded and distributed outside PlayStation Network by Sony or other users? Did you know that Xbox Live’s default safety settings are determined based on the date of birth entered when the Xbox Live account is created?
The answers are all in one place
Cybersmart program is an Australian Government national cybersafety and cybersecurity education program providing resources for children, young people, parents, teachers and library staff. One of the website resources is a section called On-line Games which looks at safety issues with games such as Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Minecraft, Nintendo DS systems, Xbox Live, Playstation, Steam, Miniclip, Stardoll, Second Life, Wii U and World of Warcraft.
In one place, parents can find answers to key security questions, links to Terms and Conditions documents and make comparisons between on-line games. Each on-line game is reviewed under the following headings:
How can I protect my information?
Different on-line games have very different levels of information protection and you should take the time to read through them. There are some programs that share data and others that don’t. These terms can change often with acquisitions and just the general evolution of the space which is why we aren’t noting any individual cases here.
How can I report cyberbullying or abuse?
The types of action which can be taken in relation to cyberbullying and abuse vary widely. Depending on the platform, it can be quite simple to report abuse – like in the case of Roblox. Minecraft however, cannot moderate behaviour or server content as all servers are privately run. Instead, they provide suggestions such as whitelisting your server so only selected people can access the game or contacting the server administrator. Before your child plays a game you should locate the information you need to make complaints quickly so the moderators can act to remove trolls.
Can I spend money there?
Some on-line games have to be purchased such as Minecraft and Xbox games. Others like Club Nintendo are free but a subscription is required to access more features.
Where can I get more information?
Some games have specific pages for parents such as Nintendo’s Parent’s Wii privacy and safety information page.
Cybermart Esafety Guide is an excellent place for parents to familiarise themselves with the features and risks of the most common on-line games their children want to play.