Kids Safety in Virtual Worlds
Virtual worlds are all the rage and parents’ concern in ensuring kids safety in virtual worlds is easily understood. With toddlers and preschoolers it is very easy for parents to ensure the child’s safety, simply open an account and link it to your child’s to monitor safe play. The situation is a little bit different with teenagers who are very techno savvy and know their way around the internet.
Our research has uncovered an excellent and safe site that children aged 7-14 can enjoy. The site strongly advocates safety practices and have a number of safety features in place to protect your children. The site has a dedicated parents’ page and provides information that counts. Some of the safety features include: filtering of telephone numbers and addresses; no URL links; no vulgarity and private messaging; reporting features and moderators in place to police the site. Kids’ Safety Best of all parents can actually request the chat logs dating back 90 days to ensure kids safety in virtual worlds.
Kids safety in virtual worlds is the responsibility of the parents. One way of making sure that your child is not misusing their virtual world privileges is to talk to your kid. Discuss their online experiences as you would their daily activities. Do not be judgmental, listen to what they have to say and provide guidance in a calm manner. Since virtual worlds duplicate school room behavior, bullying, sexual communication and harassment maybe part of the virtual world. Despite the language filters that are in place, kids have found a way around the filters by using alternative text. Communication is vital – unless your child is honest with you, you will probably never know what goes on in their virtual world. Visit the site, look at avatars, screen names, profiles, social network sites visited and the type of friends they are socializing with.
Children are trusting souls and often share passwords. You need to educate your child on the importance of how much harm shared passwords can cause. Friends can sometimes stop being friends and use passwords to misrepresent your child. Teenagers probably will not take you seriously, but you need to create awareness. Sow the seed to get them thinking!
Take kids safety in virtual worlds seriously – visit the sites your child is using and examine the safety features and tools provided. Usually there is a safety page on the good sites designed for parents. Go over the safety features with your child to make sure they know how to report abuse and block offenders. Kids also need to be taught the importance of correctly representing themselves when registering on the sites and to use the safety features provided.