There are so many ways for users to play games online. This includes free games found online, apps on smart phones, handheld consoles, as well as downloadable and boxed games on consoles such as the PlayStation, Nintendo Wii or Xbox.
Top tips for gaming:
- Play fair: treat other gamers the way you would like to be treated.
- Keep personal information safe: don’t share your personal information when gaming online; this includes your full name, mobile phone number and address. Sharing this type of information could make you vulnerable.
- Meeting: meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and even then only when they can be present. Remember online friends are still strangers even if you have been talking to them for a long time.
Look for age classifications: look out for the PEGI icon on games, to see what age classification it has been given, visit www.pegi.info for more information on age ratings.
- Use the tools: make sure you know what tools are available if someone is being agressive or inappropriate in a game. Learn how to block, mute, delete and report on the games and consoles you use.
- Regular breaks: some games can be especially intense, so regular breaks are vital for healthy gameplay. It’s important to take regular breaks, at least five minutes every 45-60 minutes.
- Protect accounts with strong passwords: ensure that you have secured your accounts with a strong password. To do this include a combination of letters using upper and lower case, characters and numbers.
- In-app purchasing: we hear stories of how young people have got themselves into difficulty by inadvertently running up bills when playing games online. Some online games, advergames, are designed to promote particular products and may encourage you to purchase items within the game/app. On smartphones you are able to disable in-app purchases by going into your phone settings. Visit our app page for more advice and information on apps.
- Stay legal: as well as staying safe when playing online games, it’s also important to stay legal. It may be tempting to download cheat programmes to skip to a higher level, but these, and downloading non-copyrighted games, can expose users to unsuitable content and viruses affecting your computer.
For further support and information on reporting, visit our Need help page.