If there is one hobby many people are indulging in these days it’s online gaming. In the midst of a pandemic, more and more people are finding the fun in getting online and creating a world of their own. Online gaming can be a lot of fun. Its’ a chance to unwind, relax and really get to know a whole community of people with the same goals and interests in mind. You can build relationships and discover new ways to explore, be as creative as you like – the king of the world, literally!
As fun as it can all be to spend hours playing online, it’s not always the safest option. You can learn where to play online for free no download, but that doesn’t necessarily protect you from the dangers of gaming online. You need to be aware of the dangers before you buy the next game and the next game, and even when you think you’re among friends, you might not always be. A fantastic character in a book once said ‘don’t trust something if you cannot see where it keeps its brain’ and when you are online, you can’t always trust who you’re talking to. Online gaming exposes you to a whole new world of discovery and if you’re an avid gamer, you should want to have a safe space to play without fear or worry.
It’s important to know how to play the game safely. Your mental health and emotional wellbeing are far more important than any game you play, and the tips that we have for you below will help you to ensure that you are safe and happy – allowing you to play for longer.
- Always keep your real name and face a secret. Online, you can be whoever you want to be and for most people, this is a huge plus of online gaming. The problem with this is that everyone else is doing the same thing. You cover your identity to stop anyone getting to know who you are outside your online personality, and others are doing the same. Staying anonymous is important if you want to be able to safely play without anyone ‘real lifing’ your words or images. You need to be able to protect yourself and not have anyone hold you to ransom because they know who you truly are. Protecting your identity has to be a particular priority of yours when you choose to be online and gaming. From your username to your profile photo, keep it empty of your real details.
- Keep your personal information to yourself. Unfortunately, many people don’t consider the fact that their information could jeopardize their safety. Personal information like your phone number, address, social security or banking information must be kept under wraps. If you think people are discussing gaming with someone anonymous, then you have to remember that everyone you talk to is anonymous, too. Plenty of adults out there masquerade as teenagers and youngsters online. It’s not a good thing, it’s not a clever thing, but it’s done as an underhanded way to groom and to manipulate. If you hand out your personal information, the chances are that they will be able to find you in real life. This is something you want to avoid. It could be something as simple as asking you what your favorite game is – and that information could be manipulated in so many ways. If you’re nervous about sharing anything, ask an adult for help.
- Don’t be afraid to mute yourself and stick to text boxes. You don’t have to chat if you don’t want to. You can be as engaged in the game as you like and if you want there to be a social side of things, you can have one. You can choose to hook up your microphone or you can choose to be ignorant of others if you want to be. People can often say things that can hurt online, and it can be overwhelming and intimidating to be expected to talk to others when you don’t want to. The thing to remember is that you are in total control here, and however you want to be online, it’s all up to you.
- You have the power to block people. Playing safely online is important and that means reclaiming your power where you can. If that means blocking people who don’t make you feel safe, so be it. You deserve more and more to feel as if you are in control of your whole gaming adventure, and that means that sometimes you need to use that handy block button. If there are any situations that make you feel uncomfortable, you can block and report the player. The gaming bosses can then decide whether to remove their profile from the game entirely. If you are getting people writing inappropriate things to you, then the chances are that you need to know how to block. Before you get started with your gaming time, make sure that you know how to block people and how to delete them from being able to see you and your progress.
- Get to know the safety controls of the game. There are parental control options for any game you play but you don’t have to be a child to turn those on. You can use the parental controls to keep yourself safe from specific comments that pop up. You don’t have to see anything offensive if you don’t want to. This is about power and you can take yours. It helps if you are taking an interest in the gaming world, and while you might not be an expert in gaming just yet, you can still make sure that you are playing safe.
Gaming online is one of the most fun things that you can do in your spare time, but it’s only fun if you’re going to enjoy it without being bullied or trolled. You should be able to have a happy experience and you can with these tips.