Spending time online gaming with friends has surpassed spending on movies and other forms of entertainment. It allows you to immerse yourself in a variety of digital worlds and play on your schedule. However, online gaming comes with risks. Here’s what you need to know about online gaming to keep your family safe.

Online Gaming with Friends – Security Risk Involved

Online gaming introduces an IT security risk. You’re not just creating an account with your name and email address. You have to give them payment information, whether you’re paying via PayPal or a credit card. The only way around this is to pay cash for gift cards to the gaming site and continually reloading them. Online gaming risks introduce all types of problems, too. Many of us have seen the spoofed mails threatening to lock our accounts if we don’t send X dollars to the supposed helpdesk right now. They may not have access to your account, but they’re expecting at least a few people to send them money to protect that account.

Every access point to the internet is an entry point for would-be hackers. If you can find the best router for online gaming with friends, you’ll find that it has built-in firewalls to prevent hackers from hacking your gaming console or personal computer. And know that the fastest router for playing online is not necessarily the fastest one available but one that will automatically give your gaming console priority access to your home network or the internet.

Teach your kids not to download random apps that look fun. Educate them about how cracking phones and installing hacks can introduce malware on their devices.

Teenager plays a computer game with headphones and a joystick, game console.

The Visual Impact

The rapidly shifting colors and lights can trigger epileptic seizures in those that are at risk for them. In some cases, the rapidly changing scenery can trigger motion sickness.

More importantly, the screen lighting itself can strain your eyes. Blue light effects from modern digital devices can even reset the body’s internal clock, making it hard to sleep. Turn off the screens two hours before bedtime and stop playing if you’re experiencing eye strain. Never let your kids play games until 2 AM. Stick to a regular schedule even on weekends.

The Psychological Impact

There is a direct correlation between screen time and games. The more kids watch TV and play video games, the lower their grades. There are a few solutions parents can implement. One is requiring kids to finish homework before they can play video or watch media. Another solution is limiting screen time in all forms. If they play three hours of video games, they can’t surf the internet or watch television. If they watch three hours of television, then no video games. This has several benefits. It limits the amount of time they spend sedentary, forcing them to get up and move if not interact with other people. Second, you’re reducing the odds that they get addicted to gaming.

If the kids start to get addicted, install parental controls on the network or take away their devices. Have rules they need to follow to get access to the internet back, like getting better grades or seeing a counselor. And if the kids have a temperament problem, competitive gaming makes it worse.

Have them do something other than play online gaming with friends, and channel the instincts into something constructive. 

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