Reasons To Be Hopeful This ‘Safer Internet Day’
The best way to ensure healthy gaming and safe online experience is to develop an ongoing conversation in your family about the video games you play. Understanding what and how children are playing is a much better approach than blanket screen time limits or gaming bans as it develops trust and understanding.
Tuesday 5th February is a great chance to refresh these conversations by celebrating Safer Internet Day. This is coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre with hundreds of organisations promoting safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
This year the campaign aims to encourage young people to explore how the internet works and get a better understanding of who owns the information that is shared on it. A great way for families to do this is for parents to use the education and video packs provided by UK Safer Internet.
AskAboutGames also provide a range of resources to help parents better understand games and play them with their children. From family gaming stories to awards and parental guides, there’s a lot to help parents make informed choices about the games. Specifically, there are the parental controls that enable families to make decisions about what information can be shared with other players online.
It’s a complex issue that is important to highlight. Although there are some concerns around the current state of affairs, there is, in fact, a considerable amount to be thankful for, as highlighted by the recent Digital Schoolhouse Online Safety report. It found that 90% of pupils recognized that e-safety is an issue of importance and 77% of pupils know where to find information on how to play games safely and responsibly.
Digital Schoolhouse concluded that its questionnaire suggests that “there is a greater need for more varied avenues for parents and teachers to gain an insight about e-safety and how it may be affecting their child/ student. As previously noted in Ukie’s response to the Internet Safety Strategy Consultation, there certainly still remains a need to continue to promote awareness and understanding of PEGI age ratings, parental controls and advice on safe gaming.”
Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity to do just that.