CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In a McAfee survey it was found that 61% of kids play games online, including multiplayer games. This can be a great way to connect with friends but you also open the door to cybercreeps and cybercriminals that may want more than just to play games.
Very few parents realize you can disable chat features and web browsing on your game systems but even if you did, your kids will probably find a way around them.
We recently learned of a case where a man was luring kids to play on his team on an Xbox game with the promise of helping them get prizes or to get to another game level. He was trying to trick them into giving him their names, email addresses, and other information. Experts believe it may have been for social engineering. So you are better off, having a talk about it.
Cyber expert Theresa Payton offers 5 Quick Tips to Keep Your Kids & Your System Safe:
- GAME NAMES: If your kids are allowed to game with anyone on the web, make sure their game name is not their real name or nickname. Have them pick a name that does not indicate facts about them such as their age, whether they are a girl or boy, or even their school name.
- EVERYONE IS A STRANGER: Talk to your kids: EVERYONE online is a stranger remind them never to discuss name, email address, or even the state they live in – all are clues to a cybercreep or cybercriminal.
- BLOCK: Consider blocking chat rooms and downloads so your kids have to ask you before they use these features.
- SURF SAFELY: When your game system is connected to the internet, be wary of where you surf online, what links you click on and what you download. That is your best protection.
- OPEN AREA: Keep the game system in a central part of the house and sit in on a gaming session from time to time.
There are several resources online for game system owners, we have listed 3 official sites for your reference:
Parent Tips: http://www.nintendo.com/corp/parents.jsp
Game System Virus Tips: http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/wii/en_na/onlineFirewall.jsp
Parent Tips: http://us.playstation.com/support/parents/index.htm
Game System Virus Tips: http://us.playstation.com/support/answer/index.htm?a_id=937
Parent Tips: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/familysettings/
Game System Virus Tips: http://support.xbox.com/support/en/us/nxe/default.aspx
You can read more about this situation by reading about a recent situation impacting a kid.
See A Dad's Story About His Son's Game System Encounter: