Christmas Gaming Safe Blog Post_National Online Safety

If you are thinking about treating your children to the latest gaming consoles this Christmas, or have already snatched one up in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, learn the latest features and parental controls now available on gaming consoles to ensure your children play safe online.

In our latest post, we have compared the features and parental controls of gaming consoles from the biggest names in online gaming: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

 

Potential online gaming safety issues

When children go online, they are exposed to potential online risks such as cyberbullying, misinformation, or being contacted by strangers. These risks are just as prevalent in the online gaming world, so it is vital you know how to protect your children from them.

Gaming consoles not only allow your children to play games, but they also support other online platforms and apps such as social networks and video/music streaming apps. These can grant your children access to inappropriate content and other risks.

NOS-Parental Control Blog Quote


Most gaming consoles offer some form of parental control that allows you to monitor your children’s online gaming activity and restrict certain actions. In this post, we have brought together everything you need to know to understand the consoles, learn about parental controls, and keep your children safe whilst gaming online.

 

PlayStation 5

Freshly released last month, the PlayStation 5 has flown off the shelves with hopeful gamers turning to online bidding sites and paying extra just to snatch Sony’s latest gaming console release.

Features:

  • Blu-ray and DVD compatible
  • Wireless controllers
  • Create and share content online including:
    • Live streaming
    • Social networking
  • Supports various online apps including:
    • YouTube
    • Netflix
    • Disney+
    • Spotify
    • Apple TV+
    • Amazon Prime Video
    • BT Sport
    • WWE Network

What are the parental controls?

  • Set limits on when and how long your children can play
  • Restrict online purchases and set spending limits
  • Restrict access to network features
  • Restrict access to other apps
  • Filter content by age ratings
  • Restrict communication and block your child from viewing content created by other players

How do I set up the parental controls?

Firstly, you need to create your own PlayStation account. To do this, you will need to present your name, date of birth, email address, preferred language, address, and a password.

Once you have an account:

  1. Sign into your account
  2. Click Family Management
  3. Select the child account for which you wish to set restrictions and click Edit
  4. Adjust each feature individually

You can also alter the parental settings via the console:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Click Family and Parental Controls
  3. Click Family Management
  4. Click Parental Controls
  5. Select the child account for which you wish to set restrictions and click Edit
  6. Adjust each feature individually or adjust the pre-set parental control level

 

Xbox X Series

The brand-new Xbox X Series has already proven so popular that UK retailer, box.co.uk, has had to introduce a ballot system to allow entrants an equal chance of purchasing from the restock this week and next.

Features:

  • Blu-ray and DVD compatible
  • Wireless controllers
  • Compatible with Xbox 1 gaming accessories
  • Higher resolution and faster load times than its predecessors
  • Create and share content online including:
    • Live streaming
    • Social networking
  • Supports various online apps including:
    • Disney+
    • HBO Max
    • Netflix
    • Spotify
    • YouTube
    • Amazon Prime Video
    • Twitch
    • Sky Go
    • Now TV
    • Sky Ticket

 

What are the parental controls?

  • Manage privacy settings
  • Set screen time limitations
  • Review and respond to friend requests and remove existing friends
  • Monitor online interactions
  • View activity reports
  • Approve and track purchases and set spending limits
  • Filter content by age ratings

How do I set up parental controls?

The Xbox Family Settings app is available from the App Store/Google Play. From here, you will be able to alter, monitor, and review your children’s activity all from your phone. To sign into the Xbox Family Settings app, you will need a Microsoft Account. To create an account, you will need to present an email address, password, name, country/region, and date of birth.

NOS-Xbox Family Blog Quote


Once you are logged into the app, create a child account for your children:

  1. Sign into the Xbox Family Settings app
  2. Click Create Child Account
  3. Click Next
  4. Enter an email address for your child’s account
  5. Click Next
  6. Create a password for the account
  7. Click Next
  8. Add your child’s name
  9. Click Next
  10. Enter your child’s date of birth
  11. Click Next

From here, you will be able to manage all the parental controls listed as above.


Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch’s biggest difference from competitors, PlayStation and Xbox, is that it is a hybrid console. This means it can be docked onto your TV and played on the big screen, or it can be played as a handheld device.

Features

  • Hybrid console
  • Wireless controllers
  • Supports various online apps such as
    • YouTube
    • Hulu
    • KORG Gadget
    • Google
    • InkyPen

What are the parental controls?

  • Monitor playtime and set screen limits
  • Review which games your children are playing and for how long
  • Block age-inappropriate content
  • Restrict communication with other users
  • Restrict your children from sharing content online
  • Create Teen, Child, Young Child, or Custom profiles for your children

How do I set up parental controls?

The parental controls for the Nintendo Switch can be managed via the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app.

  1. Download the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app via the App Store/Google Play
  2. Create or sign into your Nintendo Account
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter a code onto your Nintendo Switch console
  4. On the console, click on System Settings
  5. Click on Parental Controls
  6. Click on Parental Controls Settings
  7. Click on I have the app installed. What’s next?
  8. Enter the six-digit registration code that will appear on your smartphone
  9. Click on Register

You will now be able to adjust the parental controls via the app.

You can also set up parental controls via the console itself:

  1. Go to the Home Screen
  2. Click on System Settings
  3. Click on Parental Controls
  4. Click on Parental Controls Settings
  5. You will be encouraged to install the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app. If you wish to dismiss this, press X
  6. Manually adjust the parental control settings

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Posted by Molly Hookings

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