Most games meant for kids — like Roblox and Animal Jam — have built-in features and settings that are designed to prevent inappropriate comments and chat. Games that aren’t designed only for kids have fewer controls, settings, and safeguards.
Any app or online space that allows contact with strangers without moderation or age verification can allow contact between kids and adult strangers.
Of course it’s natural to be concerned when your kid goes into an unknown world.
But instead of acting out of fear, arm yourself with the facts so that you can help your kids be smart, cautious, and savvy.
So before they start chatting with anyone online, kids need to know some basic digital citizenship and online privacy information.
For instance, kids should never share a phone number, address, or even last name with someone they’ve never met.
As of 2010 only 9 percent of kids who use the internet received an unwanted sexual solicitation.
It’s not the norm, and it’s not a reason to be afraid all the time.
It’s simply a reason to be aware and know that if someone starts asking for personal information or talking about sexual stuff, it’s time to get help from an adult.
The YISS report also found that two specific kinds of contact — requests for offline meetings and situations that kids found extremely upsetting — declined between 20.
When there’s a report of an online predator (like the one about Roblox in 2017), multiple news outlets jump on the story, and they often appear in many outlets over a week or two, so it may feel like it’s more common than it is.