The Film and Publications Board of South Africa has noted a number of risks which young gamers could be exposed to when playing online.
The risks include dangerous content for not only the child, but also the system being played on, along with online bullying and phishing schemes.
The risks are detailed as follows:
- Kids might download the bad with the good. When kids download games from less-than-reputable sites or through links in email, instant, or text messages, they might also be getting offensive content, spam, or malicious software.
- Some “free” games may require an extensive profile, and then the game owners could illegally rent or sell the child’s data.
- Kids might bump into bullies. Some gamers play simply to harass and taunt other players using bad language, cheating, or attacking them inappropriately.
- Bad people might befriend kids. Some adults may try to earn the trust of gamers by pretending to be kids, sharing tips on how to win, or giving gifts like points. They may be trying to run a scam or angling for a phone call or an in-person meeting.
The FPB also offers some Twitter trends to help concerned parents and gamers connect with ideas and prevention methods – #SafeGamingOnline #MicrosoftSecurity.