In honor of Safer Internet Day 2019, I’ll be joining students and leaders from Google and Facebook on today’s Youth & Tech Industry Issues in Perspective panel starting at 1:30 p.m. PST. Together, we will share our thoughts on the tough questions around technology, online engagement and living in a connected world.
At Xbox, positive online experiences are a key ingredient of a safe, welcoming and inclusive community for gamers worldwide, and Safer Internet Day provides a valuable reminder of the importance of these issues and the continued work that still needs to be done. Gamers are at the center of everything we do, and we believe everyone has the right to create, play and enjoy the games they want to play, with the people they want to play with, on the devices they choose, without the fear of being a target of harassment or threats. That is why over the past 15 years, we have worked to develop industry-leading controls and tools to support safe and fun gaming.
For families, Xbox One and Windows 10 both come equipped with family settings, which includes more than 20 easy to use, customizable tools across four categories to support safe and fun gaming for children of all ages across their devices.
- Privacy: Parents and caregivers can set what people see about their child’s online profile, status and gaming history and who they can communicate with online. In December, we announced a new feature that enables or blocks both cross-network play and cross-network communication on Fortnite.
- Content filters: Filter games, apps and websites based on the age of each child to ensure they are interacting with age-appropriate content.
- Purchase limits: Avoid unexpected online purchases by choosing to pre-approve each purchase, receive alerts after each purchase, or set up an allowance to limit what children can buy on their own.
- Screen time management: Set time limits and view activity reports to keep on top of children’s activity. Limits can be set for each day of the week to limit gaming on school nights or allow more time over the weekend.
The first step is to set up a child account at account.microsoft.com or via the console. Xbox Assist features tips on how to set up a child account and install family settings that are right for your family.
Furthermore, Xbox customers can also visit their local Microsoft Store in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico for free workshops and demonstrations of family settings.
In support of our ongoing commitment to our customers and listening to their concerns, we have added recent changes to help make gaming safer and more inclusive. It’s now easier than ever to set up a child account on Xbox One; parents or caregivers just need to add their e-signature to provide consent for their child to have a Microsoft account, no credit cards required for verification or a second device. We’ve also begun testing features which provide more transparency and information in our enforcement area, so people understand how to play together better. One of these allows a suspended player to see the specific behavior which led to a suspension, with the goal of improving understanding of what is appropriate when gaming. Additionally, we’re evaluating new features to help make gaming a safer, more welcoming place, and are working to make our Code of Conduct rules easier for people to understand. We’ll have more to share in the future, including how we plan to provide new tools to improve safe online gaming and reinforce our 24/7 enforcement coverage currently in place.
Today, more than 100 countries will celebrate Safer Internet Day 2019, which aims to create a safer and better internet where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. I am proud to join forces with everyone supporting today’s effort and continue to make safe, welcoming and inclusive gaming on Xbox a priority. It’s important that we all work together – both gamers and the industry – to achieve this goal, which will lead to a stronger and more diverse community that everyone can enjoy no matter what you’re playing, who you’re playing with, or where you’re playing.