The Department of Education has published a series of online gaming safety advisories. Noting that with the prolonged closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the use of mobile and internet by children and ultimately the addiction to online games, so the Ministry of Education of the union has published a list of Dos and Don’ts for Parents and Teachers to Safe Online Games.
The ministry said that there are many drawbacks to online gaming, such as leading to severe gambling addiction, which is considered a gambling disorder. This causes a player to challenge themselves in order to progress in the game.
âPlaying games leads to a serious gambling addiction which has been considered a gambling disorder. Therefore, playing online games without restriction or self-limitation leads many gamers to become addicted and are ultimately diagnosed with a gambling disorder. game “, according to the notice.
With this in mind, advice to parents and teachers has been recommended for wider dissemination and to educate them on the necessary actions ensuring effective use to overcome all the drawbacks of online games with the associated mental and physical stress for children.
List of things not to do:
- Do not allow in-game purchases without parental consent. To avoid in-app purchases; OTP based payment methods can be adopted according to RBI guidelines.
- Avoid registering credit / debit cards on subscription apps. Place an upper limit on spending per transaction.
- Don’t let kids buy directly from the laptop or mobile they are using to play.
- Advise children not to download software and games from unfamiliar websites.
- Tell them to beware of clicking any links, images, and pop-ups on websites, as they may contain viruses and damage the computer, and may contain age-inappropriate content.
- Advise them not to give out personal information on the Internet when downloading games.
- They should never share personal information with people in the games and on the game profile.
- Advise them not to communicate with strangers, including adults, via webcam, private messaging, or online chat, as this increases the risk of contact with online abusers or bullying from them. other players.
- Advise them not to indulge in gambling for long hours without taking a break due to aspects of health and addiction.
List of things to do:
- While playing online games, if something is wrong, immediately stop and take a screenshot (using the “print screen” button on the keyboard) and report it.
- Help your child protect their privacy online, ask them to use a pseudonym (avatar) that does not reveal their real name.
- Use anti-virus / spyware programs and configure web browsers securely using a firewall.
- Enable parental controls and security features on the device or in the app or browser, as this will restrict access to certain content and limit spending on in-game purchases.
- Notify if a stranger tries to strike up a conversation about something inappropriate or asks for personal information.
- Check the age of any games your child plays.
- In the event of bullying, encourage not responding and keep track of harassing messages and report the behavior to the gaming site administrator / block, cut or remove that person from their player list, or turn off chat in the game a function.
- Play alongside your child to get a better idea of ââhow they handle their personal information and with whom they communicate.
- Help your child understand that some features of online games are used to encourage more gambling and spending. Talk to them about gambling, what it is, and its consequences both online and in the physical world.
- Always make sure that your child is accessing the Internet from a computer placed in the home space.
Keep your eyes open for:
-Unusually secretive behavior, mainly related to their online activity.
-A sudden increase in the time they spend online, especially on social media.
-They seem to change screens on their device when approached.
-They become withdrawn or angry after using the internet or sending text messages.
-Their device suddenly has many new phone numbers and email contacts.
-Install a home internet gateway that has features like monitoring, logging, and controlling what types of content kids can access.
-Teachers should keep an eye out for declining grades and students’ social behavior.
-If teachers observe anything that may seem suspicious or alarming, they should immediately notify school authorities.
-Teachers should ensure that children are made aware from time to time about the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet.
-Teachers should train students in the secure configuration of web browsers and web applications.
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