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7 Ways Parents Can Better Protect Their Online-Gamer Offspring

It's 11 a.m. Are your kids locked in their rooms playing games online?
1. Keep Tight Control Over App Downloads
2. Have a Security Conversation With the Kids
3. Encourage the Kids to Use Avatars
4. Look for Two-Factor Authentication Options
5. Make Kids Play in an Open Area
6. Create Unique Passwords for Everything
7. Consider Third-Party Tools for Assistance
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The late-April Nintendo hack in which some 160,000 accounts were compromised has put online gaming safety front-and-center for parents.

While the meteoric rise in online gaming has calmed down a bit since its peak in early April, Verizon reports that online gaming traffic has still been running roughly 70% higher during the COVID-19 stay-at-home period than beforehand. That means a lot more people could be susceptible to cyberattacks.

"Endorphins run high when kids play games, and in the heat of the battle they are vulnerable to clicking on a bad link from a stranger," says Daniel Eliot, director of education and strategic initiatives at the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

Parents also need to teach their children that offers of certain game "advantages," such as 10 extra lives, are usually fraudulent and could inject malware into the game system if clicked on.

With that in mind, we've compiled seven online gaming tips to help parents develop strategies for keeping their kids safe online during — and after — the pandemic.

 
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