Online gaming has become the next big thing. Its been big for quite some time, but now with gaming consoles like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, things have been heating up. More and more people are catching on. But there a few important things to be aware of when you game online. These are what would be called rules of safety.
Number one, know what type of platform you are playing on. What are the rules and behavioural expectations? Dont just rush into a gaming site expecting to elicit rude behaviour, when the site may be geared toward children.
Secondly, use nicknames and gamer tags that dont identify you personally. Dont add any personal information in your tags or screen names. This will help protect your identity. You dont want the whole world knowing who you are.
Next, if you have children, discuss with them the behaviour you expect from them online. You can also set up parental controls through most gaming areas. It would be wise to block adult content and teach your children not to divulge any personal information to anyone they meet online. There are a new breed of identity thieves and child abusers thanks to the Internet. If abuse is suspected, report it immediately to all the proper channels. All sites will have a place to report abuse, or they should not be used.
There is also a new technology out that allows criminals to mask their voices, so be wary of anyone using that type of technology, and just be aware that its out there.
If you decide that youd like to meet someone from the online community in public, be safe about it. Meet in a public place with plenty of people. Ask for a picture first, but know that some people give out fake pictures. Never allow your child to meet someone alone. Just use common sense in this area.
There is also a new breed of bully, called a “cyber bully”. Some gamers may be abusive to other players when they lose. Just like in real life, bullying isnt tolerated, so report it to the proper authorities and block the user from making contact with you.
Lastly, research the online game site you are going to join. There are a few sites targeted to take your personal information and sell it. This will result in malware and spam, so dont join a site with a lot of pop ups or a site that asks a bunch of personal questions. Use sites that are part of well known sources, such as Yahoo and Google. This way you run a lower risk of having a bad gaming experience, and if you do, there is definitely someone there to report it to.
Providing you follow these simple guidelines, you can be safe online and concentrate on the most important thing, which is to have fun!