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A Parent's Guide to Online Gaming for Their Kids

by: MD Weems ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

When it comes to online gaming, it seems kids are always ready to jump online and check out their favorite cartoon characters in an pc game. This online guide will help parents know how to keep their kids safe.

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    Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

    When it comes to playing PC games online, there are tons of great games that can help children with everything from math to reading to science. And, every kid loves to play on computers, so it is easy to allow them to sit down and play some of the PC games that they want each day and assume that they will just be fine online. There are thousands of great sites out there that have wonderful PC games your child can play to help them learn, and just to have fun, and sometimes it might be hard to choose one. So, your child goes searching the web for their favorite cartoon characters or their favorite heros. Suddenly they come up with thousands of hits... and not all of them are good.

    The fact is, there are so many sites out there with adult content and child predators that your child can find without meaning to. Adult sites and child predators are finding new and creative ways to lure children into their sites by using cartoons and other things that children search out on the web. So, it is vital that you try everything possible to keep your children safe while they are online learning and playing PC games. While this might seem like a daunting task, it is actually pretty simple and only takes a few minutes of your time to set up. Here is what you need to do to help keep your kids safe online and allow them the freedom to learn to use the computer without worrying about getting into trouble.:

    Set Up Profiles – Simply set up each child in your home a special profile that they can log into with their name and a special password. To do this, go into your start menu and select Control Panel. Then, you want to select User Accounts. This will bring up a window that lists all of the user accounts that are currently set for your computer. To set up your child a new account on your computer, simply click Create a New Account. Then, you will be prompted to enter the name for this account, and you should use their first name to make it easier for them to remember, such as John (example only). It is easier to make them an administrator because with a limited account on a computer, they may not be able to use some of the newer game websites and have the games work properly – you will set their safety settings in just a second! Set them a password that they can remember and you can also change their picture and special settings so that they feel this is truly their computer.

    Safety Settings – Log into the computer on the account that you just set up for your child. Then, you will simply go into your Tools tab at the top of your Internet page (this should be after File, Edit, View, and Favorites) and select Internet Options. This will open up a new window that will have several tabs at the top, and you want to choose the one that says Content. Here, you can adjust the level of the adult content and several other rated items that will allow you to control what your child can see, and not see, on the web.

    Create A Games Page – This is a great way for you to create a list that will allow your child to simply click on a link so that they can get to their favorite PC games right away. Here is what you do: Go to some of the online gaming sites that your child wants to use, such as www.cartoonnetwork.com, and check them out with your kids. Find several that they like and write the URL's down. Also, you want to find some of the learning sites that will help your child as well and write those URL's down. Now, open up a new word document and type in a list of approved PC game sites and other sites that you just wrote down. As you type in the addresses for the web site, simply hit ENTER after each one for the document to automatically create a link for you (it should make the address that you just typed in appear in blue on the page). When you have this list completed, you can easily save this document on the desktop so your child can open it easily. Make sure that you save it as “John's Game List” or something that your child can easily remember.

    Now, when your child is on the computer, you can keep track of what they are doing and know that you have already put the stops in place to keep them from the vast majority of adult content and other bad sites on the web. Your child can now play their favorite PC games and learn at the same time without you sitting there with them constantly.