A COVID TALE, Why you don't want young kids playing all day online! | Be Secure Online

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A COVID TALE, Why you don't want young kids playing all day online!

Now battle really begins to win kids back from online gaming, up 70% during COVID19

Battle Royale to get kids playing less as COVID19 lockdowns end worldwide

During COVID-19, internet safety rules went out the window as parents and kids struggled to live, work and school together all day from home. Parents wanted quiet to work, kids' wanted to be occupied without being able to see friends down the street. Naturally, rules got stretched a little. Now we need a way back reducing kids time online permanently. Here's a true story about two boys from Leicester.

COVID19 stretched internet safety rules, time to reset them

After lockdown, the boys stopped attending online schooling, playing their games instead, which is what you do when you are seven and nine. The parents assumed that Fortnite was keeping them safe. It is a game played by kids, and naturally, her two boys would be kept safe by Fortnite. The kids and parents were happy, the kids were occupied and not annoying Mum & Dad.

Two things happened next. The two boys' behaviour worsened, their language coarsened, acting aggressively towards their Mum especially. Things became clearer after the family dog chewed through a headphone lead. The parents heard the game for the first time and suddenly realised what a toxic environment a public server game is. Definitely, not suitable for their two young boys. When gaming, you can’t stop the text, but you can turn the sound off, which is strongly recommended by internet safety experts and child psychologists worldwide. Mum suddenly realised; 

  • Her boys were playing with much older strangers online on a public server.
  • Pro Level players prefer playing on their level meaning kids encounter older people.
  • Her boys were copying the other players' behaviour.

Parents thought that Fornite was looking after the kids for them.

  • Looking after kids is not Fortnite's job.
  • Their job is making money, something they are very good at.
     

Fornite makes one of the best online games out there. Free to start with, Fortnite soon starts selling stuff (Vbucks). Fortnite need players playing all the time. Their job is to keep you or your kids online. Fortnite employs the best game designers to make the most engaging game ever. So caring for kids who make up nearly 65% of their audience and e-safety for kids is not part of their job. 

“Remember, if you don’t look after your kids, the internet, gaming business will, happily.”
Graham Mulhern “How To Protect Your Kids Online

How we got involved?

We became familiar with this story when interviewed on a local radio station with the Dad, Sean. It was Sean who decided on the hard stop plan, which we said was the best plan and very brave of Sean, especially as he had two very upset kids on his hands. But he was 100% correct. Listen to a podcast version of this article.

Rules, not guidelines, Don't be a pushover, Enforce them.

  • Set expectations
  • ​Fixed time Limits, 90 mins max
  • Water breaks, Switch off In-App Purchasing
  • No Headphones
  • Play with friends only, No playing in Public Servers
  • If you can, check out the game yourself. 
  • Switch off text service if possible too, unless playing with friends

Playing in public servers means your kid is playing with strangers online, unprotected, many of whom are much older. Experts worldwide do not recommend this, especially from an online and internet safety perspective. 

What Parental control can do for you here.

  • Limit game time
  • Stop them playing the completely on devices

It will not control or moderate what they see while playing. Parental control will prevent them from becoming addicted, though, which is what you want.

We think it's the best parental control there is to protect your kids!

Norton 360 Premium #1 Selling choice in our store


Mum knows best  

Over a two-month period, they changed completely. They were obsessed, no longer going outside to meet friends, they were morose, surly and crude, only enjoying each others' company. Mum was especially upset at hearing more cursing than actual words, sometimes with extreme profanity, all common currency amongst older teenagers. Dad said later, the dog did them the biggest favour ever, chewing up the headphone cable. He presented the kids with one option, three hours a day only, playing with kids their age or nothing. On the upside, he discovered a new connection with them too as he loved Fortnite too.

Multi-player games with sound are notorious for rough language expletives, they built games this way, to encourage vocal exchanges, which is exactly what the developers want. So, turn off the sound, so your kid can’t hear it.

Want to know more?How to Protect your Kids online!

Our fantastic#1 Selling ebook in our store

 
Comments: Fortnite is not the problem, it is the players. Check pegi.info for details on any game you are not familiar with before letting kids start new games.

  • Remember Fortnite is a competitive multiplayer game.
  • Read the instructions, always switch on parental control,
  • Switch off in-app purchasing, turn off the sound so they can’t hear or talk to other players.
  • Switch off text if you can.
  • pegi.info lists out the details from the site
  • Enforce parental control.


Remember, if you don’t look after your kids, the internet, gaming companies will, happily.


Articles of Interest
 

1. Why gamers really need VPN

2. Our No.1 most-read ever Internet safety tips for kids

3. Is it good for my kids?  Fortnite - Explained

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