CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Violent video games may be lurking behind cartoon characters and smiles on kid friendly sites.
The Federal Trade Commission recently tested 27 online worlds, including many specifically intended for young children. They found sexually or violently explicit content in 19 of those 27 worlds.
We looked at the internet and violence is readily available. Many sites are free and shockingly, your kids are not more than a few clicks away from the violence.
Parents can type into a search engine, "play violent games online free" and they'll be surprised by what they find. For an added bonus, some even say, "No registration required!"
However even if your kids don't type in that search, your kids are still at risk.
Did you know that when your kids are on www.Nick.com they have a link over to www.AddictingGames.com? Theresa provides 4 easy tips to keep your kids safe!:
- Screen Rules: Pre-screen & test game sites yourself & tell your kids they can only play games that you pre-approve – no exceptions.
- Kid Friendly Profile: Create a computer profile for your kids that can access a limited numbers of sites; this option comes free on most computers
- Block: Block sites that you learn about - warning, this can feel like a losing battle so pick the biggest offenders to block so this does not get overwhelming.
- Safe Zone: Tell your children if they accidentally leave the safe zone to tell you & that they will not get into trouble for admitting it
Here are some sites you may want to consider blocking:
THE FAMILY COMPUTER & WHEN AWAY FROM HOME…:
Family Computer in a central location
Make sure your kids know your rules apply when they are using a smartphone or away from home!
Creating a Kid Friendly Profile - Family Computer Options
Apple has an online tutorial called Parental Controls to help you think through time limits, what your children can surf, and more at: http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#parentalcontrols
Computers that run Vista or Windows have Parental Control options that can assist you. For Vista go to: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/products/features/security-safety If you have Windows 7 go to: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/features/parental-controls.aspx
You can also block sites through your web browser. Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari all support "Parental Controls". Search for instructions in the browser's Help Section.
FTC has information called: Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt038.shtm.
You can also check out: