Gaming can take you on epic adventures, forge life-long friendships, and offer opportunities for creativity and fun each time you play. However, it’s important to be aware of the safety tools and settings available when gaming online.
At Xbox, we believe that gaming should be inclusive of all, accessible to all, and safe for all. One way in which we pursue this mission is by empowering a community of players, the Xbox Ambassadors, to share their Xbox expertise and connect with fellow gamers and to help make gaming fun for everyone.
In support of global Safer Internet Day 2020, we gathered the top five tips from the Xbox Ambassadors’ community to help you stay safe while gaming online. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
Safety Tip #1: Use Family Settings for Child and Teen Accounts
“The Microsoft family account offers many ways to customize the gaming experience to fit with your and your child’s online needs. From the weekly email detailing activity, to protections against unwanted purchases, family settings on Xbox is a great tool in any parents’ arsenal.” — Pandy Yato, Xbox Ambassador
“The best feature is the reporting Microsoft provides. It tells you what your child has been up to on both Xbox and PC, including which games and applications they have used and for how long.” — ONI Assassin, Xbox Ambassador
“Use family settings on Xbox and privacy settings available, and consider playing some games together with your child.” — oO HyPeR C Oo, Xbox Ambassador
“For parents, it’s important that they know exactly what their child is playing and who they are playing with. It’s also important to educate children about being smart online and to set time limits/ground rules when it comes to gaming. This will help give children a better balance in their daily life.” — MissDeusGeek, Xbox Ambassador
“Check the age ratings on games. Age ratings are there to help make sure you can enjoy games without seeing or hearing things that may upset or disturb you. Here’s a handy link: Age Ratings” — oO HyPeR C Oo, Xbox Ambassador
For more information, explore the family and online safety page.
Safety Tip #2: Keep Personal Information Personal
“Staying safe while playing games online is absolutely important. The best way to stay safe, in my opinion, is to set your privacy and security settings to the highest level, and do not give out any personal details to anyone online.” — MissDeusGeek, Xbox Ambassador
“Privacy settings can help keep you safe online. You can limit what others see and whether to allow others to communicate with you or not. Also, keep your personal information safe and private — do not share it with others. Your personal information is valuable to fraudsters and scammers.” — oO HyPeR C Oo, Xbox Ambassador
“Fishing is fun, but phishing leads to problems. While some people may enjoy fishing, phishing is where an unwelcome person tries to gain access to your account by pretending to be a person in a position of authority (e.g. pretending to be a Microsoft employee). Remember, Microsoft will never ask for your password. To help prevent phishing, consider adding two-factor authentication (2FA) to your account to prevent malicious activity.” — ONI Assassin, Xbox Ambassador
For more information, check out how to manage your privacy settings on Xbox One.
Safety Tip #3: Stay Secure
“Keep your Wi-Fi secure. Wi-Fi is an easy way to access your private information. Use a VPN when gaming on the go on open networks. Keep your home Wi-Fi password secure and create a guest network that limits access to other computers on your network.” — FourNinjaToads, Xbox Ambassador
“Don’t believe everything you hear or read on the Internet. If it sounds too good to be true, especially when it comes to in-game purchases, competitions, and perks such as in-game items (e.g. skins, weapons etc.), it most likely is.” — MissDeusGeek, Xbox Ambassador
Safety Tips #4: Take Breaks
“This is an important tip, which most people forget: take regular breaks. Safety isn’t just limited to your online presence, but also your physical health. Take a few minutes to stretch and step away from gaming.”— ONI Assassin, Xbox Ambassador
“Limiting screen time can help, it gives your eyes time to rest (eye strain is a real thing) and be sure to grab a bite to eat, have a drink, and spend some time with loved ones. Your games are going nowhere and those who are the closest to you matter (trust me).” — oO HyPeR C Oo, Xbox Ambassador
Safety Tip #5: Have Fun in the way That is Right for You
“If you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers while playing together, you don’t have to. Many games now have in game features to allow you to communicate with team members without having to ‘voice chat,’ for example.” — MissDeusGeek, Xbox Ambassador
“If you come across a message or player that breaks the community standards for Xbox, do not hesitate to report and/or block them. This will prevent them contacting you further and from matching with them in the future. Here’s a handy link: block/mute/report other players.” — oO HyPeR C Oo, Xbox Ambassador
Putting “Tips” into Action
Safer Internet Day aims to create a safer and better internet where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively. Not only is it a reminder to continue to make safe, welcoming, inclusive gaming a priority, but it’s also a call to action for everyone to practice safe online habits in every experience.
Today, we challenge you to share your online safety tips with your community. Whether that’s a tweet, or simply a conversation with a friend, inform someone about how they can help make gaming safe for all.
To learn more about safety tools and settings available on Xbox, visit Xbox.com/for-everyone.