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Online Predators Use Game Consoles To Troll For Victims
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Online Predators Use Game Consoles to Troll for Victims

The online gaming market is quite popular. A Pew Research study indicated that 97% of teenagers play computer, web, portable, or console games. Fifty-nine percent of these teenagers play games in multiple ways (people in the same room, online, or alone). Fifteen percent of these teens play most often with those they are connected to on the Internet. This study was conducted in 2008. I believe these numbers have increased significantly since this study was published.

Many parents do not realize that several gaming consoles operate in the same way as a computer. The system can go online and will allow for two-way text, voice and video communications. Online predators can use the voice and chat functions to “groom” their victims. Parents who might do a great job of monitoring their child’s Internet activity have no idea they are being contacted through their game console.

What can parents do to keep their children safe? Familiarize yourself with your child’s games and their game console. Check the parental controls and remove any chatting or voice capabilities. If you do not want your child going online you can remove the Web browsing feature on the game console. When a child goes onto the Internet they can sometimes circumvent the parental controls.

Several online games provide parents with the option to view a list of players their children have interacted with during an online session. They can create a group of friends that they will allow to communicate with their child and block any strangers.

Parents can keep the computer or game console in an open area of the home. Having the child play with people around makes it easier to monitor their conversations and other game activities. Parents should understand that children are not always honest about what they are doing online. Many kids do not want to tell their parents that someone has contacted them in an inappropriate manner. They believe if they tell their parents then they might take away their games and game console.

Please speak with your children about online predators. Let them know it is safe to come to you if someone makes them feel uncomfortable. Educate them on ways to stay safe Online. As parents we need to make sure we are paying attention to what our children are doing on the internet. Whether it is in a chat room, on Facebook or while playing their favorite video game, kids make easy prey for the more experienced adult. Please report any suspicious behavior to gaming moderators and to the authorities.


Street Talk

Thanks for the warning! It's amazing how much time kids spend with interactive games. Didn't realize the potential for danger.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Great Article Stacy, it's amazing how many sicko's there are out there!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Joan S  

Wow, I never thought about this. Life seems to be getting more and more complicated. I remember when you told your kids not to talk to strangers, simple. Parents and kids have so much to contend with now. Sad, because kids are innocent and they're being forced to grow up fast by just having to be aware of predators. Not fair.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I agree :( Thank you for taking the time to read my article.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Joan S  

I put it on my Facebook wall too.

  
  about 8 years ago

Stacy you can blow me over with the proverbial feather, I was unaware that contact could be made through this type medium. Thank you for making me aware of it and I wish this could go further afield. Wait I can Face book it and I will.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Rob!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

You're doing a great job raising awareness. Thank you Stacy.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Penny!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

This is a great article and it makes me think of my son. He loves to play the Xbox and has a few friends that he plays with online. Of course, we don't know these people, but I never really thought about a predator being on the other side of the controller. Sometimes, I just assume that the video game interaction is harmless. Today, I will be checking into this! Thank you :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Tonya!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Excellent article.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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