Making Sure Your Child is Safe While Playing Minecraft
Minecraft is an incredibly popular computer game and children as young as three can play it. The game is focused on creativity and is like playing a virtual version of Legos. The game is also played on a smartphone or tablet and people of all ages can connect to the Internet in multi-player mode to share and build and work together to craft a place of make believe that can be shared and experienced with others in cyberspace. As with any online Interaction, is important to make sure that your child is safe when talking to others. Here’s how it’s done.
Know what apps your children use.
It’s important to be aware of which apps and games your child uses online. Most smartphones already come equipped with more than 25 different apps and there are thousands more available for instant download. A constant online connection can be dangerous if not supervised, so knowing what apps your children are using will help understand which applications to look out for. Understanding how different applications are used is the first step in preventing risky behavior from occurring.
Set up your own account, then set up theirs.
This allows you to get familiar with what your child will be able to experience while using any of their apps. If something seems sketchy when you use it, then you will know where to draw the line. Like many apps, Minecraft has different settings for privacy or limiting access to certain groups so that children are not affected by strangers. Before a child joins a group, figure out what the group is about, who is allowed to join, and set up all passwords and settings for the child. This will ensure that you can access your child’s account at any time and adjust any settings in the future.
Pay attention to what your child accesses.
Minecraft allows for chat and sharing of external links. Links are shared for outside discussion forums for answers to questions or inspiration for ideas. There are also links to videos of past games. These videos have become extremely popular and the maturity content is always questionable. Parents who do not want their young children exposed to adult or vulgar language should always screen what their children watch on YouTube. External sites, discussions and forums may also be inappropriate for some children and these forums are often used by online predators to look for victims.
Set time limits on online activities.
Online addiction is a result of too much screen time. Children get so heavily involved in virtual reality that they lose perception of things that are important. Online addicts will forgo food and not sleep for days and become emotionally unstable when not connected to their online focus. Screen time at bed time has also been linked to sleep disorders and health issues due to lack of sleep. Minecraft is an online universe, and too much time spent can lead to a disconnect with reality or an unhealthy dependence on Minecraft for mental stability.
Know who is talking with your child.
If it’s a friend your child is talking to, then it’s a friend you should know about. No one needs a secret friend and no one should meet someone in real life for the first time without a parent’s involvement. Children have been known for making improper judgments, so parents should be involved with knowing as much as possible about their social interactions. There should be safety protocols for any time someone is met in real life from an online interaction, and this should always start with the parents approval. Personal information should remain guarded so that the wrong people don’t get wrong ideas.
As always, PhoneSheriff is parental control software that makes it easy for parents to keep track of how their children use their smartphones and tablets. Parents can restrict usage of apps to certain times of day, monitor and restrict websites that are visited, check on calls and see the text messages sent and received as well as view GPS locations to make sure that their child is safely located where they belong. PhoneSheriff is an effective tool for smartphone safety that gives parents a heads-up about what is going on.