This is number 7 in a series of great articles designed to put in school newsletters, to keep parents informed around the latest cybersafety issues. They have been developed by the Cybersmart team at ACMA and are available via http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Outreach/Connected.aspx
Schools are encouraged to copy and paste these in your school newsletter or share them online
7- Supporting your child’s safe use of online games and in-app purchases.
If your child plays online games and uses apps it is important to understand how the costs can add up. Apps and online games provide great social interaction and entertainment but additional costs can be incurred even after you have already paid for the game.
For example, while playing the online game or using the app, your child may be given the option to pay again for extra content such as bonus game levels or points.
To help control the costs of online games and apps:
- Turn off ‘in-app’ purchases in the settings of your phone and other devices so your child has to ask to buy additional levels/characters/lands.
- Keep passwords to yourself so others can’t purchase apps and add-ons without you knowing.
- Talk to your child about costs. Explain that games, apps and the extra features in them all cost real money. Watch your child play a game or app and explain which parts cost extra.
- Set a reasonable weekly or monthly spend for apps or games and help your child track their spending so they can make good choices. For older kids talk about data costs as well.
- Check what your child is doing. Are the games and apps appropriate? Online games have ratings―some apps or games have inappropriate ads with links to adult websites, contain offensive material or replicate gambling games.
If your child has accessed content that has disturbed them or concerns you seek professional support. You or your child can also visit the Cybersmart Online Helpline (www.cybersmart.gov.au/report.aspx) or call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
DEECD resources can be found http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/parents.aspx