This is a guest post by Anne Odesk.
Sexual predators aren’t just using computers to meet children online. They’re using video gaming consoles, like the Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox too. Protecting your child while they are online is getting harder and harder as technologies become smaller and most are built to be played online. Gadgets like the Xbox and other gaming consoles are increasingly becoming more connected and open to internet vulnerabilities. Nowadays with more advanced cell phone connectivity and other means your child can be online without you even knowing. This allows children to easily fall prey to sexually explicit material sent by internet predators.
In general, online gaming may involve both social risks and technological risks. Thus, many online game risks are similar to those computer users may have already encountered, but they may not have realized that the games pose another opportunity for predators to find personal information or overcome the system protection.
When kids play games, especially online games, on PCs connected to the internet or gaming consoles there are always security risks involved. It’s important to remember that a game console is essentially just another way your child can connect to the internet. It is prone to viruses, spyware, and other malware just like your PC and can get damaged by them.
Most games now have an online community that talks, chats, or sends instant messages during the games. Some computer intruders may use the social interaction of the online gaming environment in an attempt to exploit vulnerabilities whether it be in your system or software. Others may try to gain access to unprotected computers connected to the internet. The intruders may want to do any of these:
• Capture your personal information and can attack in different ways.
• Steal your identity and can misuse it to commit more crimes.
• Steal credit your card information and try to steal from your bank account.
• Inappropriately contact children by pretending to be another child or a friend, setting up meetings, or tricking them into revealing personal information.
Online gaming has both positive aspects to it as well. It has become a major source of entertainment, developed new industries and sources of revenue for business, and introduced new uses of the human imagination to millions of people. However, it is important to know and guard yourself against the risks associated with the internet gaming world to keep it safe and enjoyable for your family.
Anne is a contributing writer for several other websites including Delaware Solar Power and Adcentives West Promotional Products. Please check out her other works and participate in post discussions.