Is Roblox Safe For Kids?

Is Roblox Safe For Kids?

What Is Roblox?

Roblox is a very popular online multi player game similar in appearance to Minecraft. Roblox was launched in 2006 and now has 30 Million active users. Roblox is primarily an online platform that hosts user/player made games. Players can choose which games they want to play. Games can be anything from navigating obstacle courses, finding your way through a spooky maze, role playing games and much more. Some games are quite scary and too violent for younger players. Shoot and Kill games and games with spooky characters like Slender Man and Zombies. Some games contain murder, guns and other horror themes.

Players can also build their own “worlds” or games via the Roblox Studio app. They can earn spending money called Robux or spend real money to gain Robux for upgrades and for extras. Roblox is available on both mobile devices and on P.C’s.

The Good

Roblox can be creative and fun, and is designed for players to  play online with each other within the games. Some of the games are G and PG rated and certainly seem suitable for younger children, but only if the parental controls are set up and there is strict parental supervision. Under 13yr old accounts have automatic restrictions set. Privacy settings and account restrictions can be enabled for all accounts including over 13+

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Watch Out For

Like all multi player online games with user generated content (content built by the players themselves) There is a risk of stranger danger and adult content, including pornographic graphics. Roblox certainly has clear rules around no swearing and no pornography, but Roblox can only rely on such behaviour being reported. Roblox has been reviewed on commonsensemedia.org extensively, by both commonsense reviewers and by parents of players. Parent reviews report that many children have been exposed to adult content within Roblox, been bullied on the game and have been approached and sent messages by creepy players suggesting cyber sex. Parental controls, via the account restrictions are therefor essential for younger children.

What Is The Recommended Age?

There is no age limit determined in the Roblox Terms Of Service. Roblox TOS do mention that younger children under 13+ need to have parental supervision, but there is no parental consent required for underage sign up. Commonsensemedia recommend it for players 10yrs+. iTunes set the age recommendation at 12+. There is information for parents on the Roblox website Here:

From Roblox Terms Of Service

Can You Play It Safety?

In March 2017 Roblox included some extra parental controls or account restrictions. You can set the account restrictions in all accounts including 13+ accounts.

Adult Content & Swearing

Roblox already ##### out common swear words, but some players creatively get around those in other **Ways**

L

I

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E   this….

Games that are registered as having Mature or Adult content are largely blocked in under 13+ accounts. But there are some other creative ways players can get around this, with rude titles, and clothing with swear words and skimpy clothing.

Stranger Friend Requests

Whilst the new account restrictions can do a great job of blocking chat and blocking games that have adult content within them, unfortunately your children, even with the strictest settings set up, WILL still get random friend requests from strangers, which they can freely accept. I received about 3 friend requests for every 1hr of game play on an under 13yr account with the available account restrictions all enabled to the strictest settings. If your child accepts those friend requests, unless the parental controls are set to the strictest “no chat in game” settings they can then talk to these strangers, who become “friends” after their request has been accepted, via messaging and chat, they can also play with them on shared games. In my own experience there were also a lot of spam accounts sending friend requests also.

To delete friends click on your friends menu, and the click on the profile of the “friend” you want to “de-friend” and then select “Unfriend” from their profile top right.

No Single Player Option, Or Private Games

Unlike Minecraft, that has different modes of play, you cannot play single player, or restrict games to “Friends Only” on Roblox. If your child creates their own Roblox game, it will go Public when it is launched. You cannot block other players from playing except players under 13+.

Multiple Accounts – Ghost Accounts

There is no way to stop your child from having multiple Roblox accounts on the one device. Players can have several accounts. Your child could have one Roblox account you know about….and perhaps one over 13+ account, you don’t know about, a “Ghost” Account, as they are often known as. There is no restriction or mechanism to stop your child from setting up an over 13+ account. You will not get an email notification about a new account being enabled, or be able to see it on their device if they log out of it.

Play WITH Your Kids

To really understand Roblox, it is a good idea for parents to supervise account sign up, set the account restrictions, and then sit with their kids when they are playing. For younger teens and under 13yr olds Parents are advised to set boundaries around accepting friend requests, and supervise your child if you do allow them to join and play with their real offline friends.

The Parental Controls Your Kids Won’t Want…

Roblox is a very popular game for kids to play online together. Most children will want to play with their real life friends. They will be unable to play and chat with their real offline friends in the game if the strictest account restrictions are set up. To protect kids who can’t be trusted not to accept random friend requests, or to send friend requests to strangers, you have to set the parental controls so that they cannot chat in game, or accept game invites to pay together, even from their real offline friends. This won’t sit well with kids who want to play together. If you do allow your child to chat in game, and accept messages and invites to games from their trusted friends, parents need to closely supervise their child’s in game friends list, to make sure they never accept a friend request from someone they and you don’t know. You can set the account restrictions so that your child only communicates with vetted friends, but you cannot prevent them from friending strangers via the account restrictions.

How to set Roblox with Parental Controls

  1. Make sure your child has an under 13yrs account. On sign up set your child’s real age. Under 13+ accounts have some filters and restrictions already set.
  2. Make sure your child does not use a real name to sign up, and has a long and secure password that they know not to share with anyone other than you.
  3. Your child can set up an adult or over 13+ account on the same device, make sure your child only has one account with the correct age.
  4. If your child has not set their age to the correct setting you can change their age back to under 13+ with your consent. See Here;
  5. Log into the game via the app or website and then go to settings/account info and provide your parent email address. Make sure your child doesn’t have access to your email account.
  6. When you have received an email from Roblox to verify your email, follow the link to set a 4 digit PIN that your child cannot guess also in settings/security. This prevents your child changing the restrictions.
  7. Enable Account Restrictions in Settings/Security.
  8. For extra security set 2 Step Verification to prevent your child’s account from being hacked.
  9. Whilst in settings go to the privacy settings and select which parental controls you wish your child’s account to have.
  10. Also turn off notifications in settings, if your child isn’t going to be playing with friends online for extra security
  11. Make sure your child’s social media accounts are not listed in the settings/Account info. If they are, make them private or remove them.
  12. Also make sure your child doesn’t reveal personal information in settings/Account Info

What Do The Parental Controls Do?

If the strictest account restrictions are set on an under 13yr old account.

  1. Your child will not see any messaging or in-game chat.
  2. Your child will be restricted from joining games that have adult content such as violent games, or any games with adult themes.
  3. Your child will still get random friend requests. Check the requests tab and “Ignore” them
  4. Your child will still encounter other players who may push them around, but your child won’t be able to communicate with them.

Set Parental Controls Below.

On iPad go to More …. From a PC Web version click Settings icon top right of screen.

Parental Controls, Account Restrictions For Roblox
Set As Above
Set As Above For The Strictest Settings

Blocking And Reporting

Blocking another player or illegal content is fairly simple. See Instructions Here:

 

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  • Nate

    My gosh, people, for the last time…Roblox looks NOTHING like Minecraft. If anything, it’s most similar to Lego, if that.

    And if any concerned parents are reading this, I’m afraid that recently Roblox has become TOO safe! You can barely chat online without it being “tagged.” (Or counted as a bad word by the filter and turned into hashtags so others cannot read it.) Just make sure they don’t go anywhere else by clicking suspicious links from players or going to their YouTube channels via their Roblox Profiles, and you should be good.

    • The Loser

      Also True. And, Make Sure They Don’t Join Those Stupid Retarted, ODer Infested Places!

      • Nate

        Exactly.

      • Matthew Corbo

        I think it’s pretty funny honestly. It’s really annoying and all, but I exploit sometimes and just wreck them. It’s so cringey too.

    • Matthew Corbo

      So true. First, yes it looks exactly like Lego it’s pretty funny. I don’t really know why people think it looks like Minecraft, but I think because it’s mostly sandbox and there are blocky players that they think that (terrible grammar lol).

      I had a comment on someone else’s post, and I totally agree. They’ve gone out of their way to fix this and it’s much much better than any other game. Roblox gets teased because of the chat. If you can’t let your kid play Roblox, which is full of 7-10 y/o’s, then how are you gonna let them play any multiplayer game?

      • Nate

        Right. And admittedly there are some adults on the website, obviously, but the majority of adults on Roblox are the game developers. The only reason why they would be playing a game is to test one of their own.

  • This is really helpful – thanks! I just let my 8yo daughter get Roblox and your article helped me confirm that I set her account up with all the strictest settings.

    • Jessica Helmes

      Please be extremely careful. My daughter and her real life friends were solicited by 16 year old boys in the game. They made multiple sexual advances and encouraged them to go into their bedrooms where they proceeded to insinuate sexual acts. They find very creative ways to get around the rules and safety settings of Roblox. I know many parents who have had the same issues and deleted their kids account. Unfortunately my daughter and her friend were encouraged to meet these boys on skype where the sexual innuendo continued. She had skype on her laptop so she could chat with her aunts and grandparents. I am sickened by this and am glad we discovered it so we could put a stop to it. This is NOT a game for children. Adults and teens have taken it over and made it no longer a safe place for them.

      • Thankyou JD for your comments. The new parental controls which came into effect in March are not widely known, by the players or by the parents. And even with them set up, you do have to supervise younger children on the game. Any game which involves user generated content and online interaction is dangerous for children. Kids as young as 6 are playing this, with no privacy settings and sometimes no supervision as parents don’t understand that it’s online. Thankyou again for your comment it’s really important that parents are aware of real life dangers in these games, most believe these types of incidents are rare.

      • The Loser

        “Adults and teens have taken it over and made it no longer a safe place for them.” 100% TRUE.

      • Matthew Corbo

        Well, to be fair, you can’t let your kids play any online game. Every game has people like this, and it is what you have to expect. ROBLOX has gone out of their way to make it safe, such as making super-safe chat (anything spelled incorrectly in chat is censored), toggling chat with anyone, making a chat whitelist for kids under 13 (as opposed to a blacklist), blocking certain games, making parental controls so kids can’t access their settings, and having a report feature. There are many more things I could list, but you can clearly see ROBLOX knows there are kids on it. Also, ROBLOX is filled with younger players (7-10 y/o’s), as opposed to other games having 14-20 y/o’s. ROBLOX is usually teased by teens BECAUSE there is so much chat moderation and so many kids on it. Yes, ROBLOX is going to have these types of people but there are parental controls and things to block chat. I definitely agree that it’s not right for 16 y/o’s to be doing that, but I can’t really think of a game that’s not going to have some teens. Most ROBLOX youtubers are 17-19 years old. I really do hate to say “deal with it” but ROBLOX knows this is a problem and they are trying to fix it.

  • Milexpo

    I am no parent. I have no way to know what exactly is best for your children, but I feel that it is important that you get multiple points of views. I am a Roblox veteran, having played consistently since late 2011, so I have some experience under my belt. Yes, I understand that Roblox may not be the safest of places. However, normally, you will not come across inappropriate assets unless your child actively seeks them out. However, there is always the chance that something inappropriate does appear (in-game or otherwise). There is a report and a block feature. If you or your child happen to come across a rule-breaker (yes, there are rules. Read them.) or someone promoting inappropriate activity, take advantage of both of these features. Report that player directly to Roblox, and/or block them. When a player is blocked, they cannot see you chat, join your games, or send you friend requests. You are also unable to do the same. However, you can only have 50 players blocked at a time. Please, use common sense when dealing with people. If the situation gets too out of hand, just leave the game and join a different server. Chances are you will never see them again. Sometimes, I understand why random friend requests are annoying. But please ask your child what they were doing with that person. I still have some very good virtual friends. I don’t know anything about them in real live, nor do they about me, but we hop on games sometimes together and have a good time.

    I’m just saying, use common sense. Sometimes overprotection is necessary, but being able to talk with people in-game is especially useful, such as when planning strategy.

    if you have any questions, my roblox username is superdave100

    • This is great advice for older users Milexpo. I have no issue with anything you have said. My blog post is for parents of younger children who are primarily in primary school, who don’t have an established understanding of “commonsense” as you put it, and are therefor very vulnerable to being duped and taken advantage of. If you look at my bio you will see that I have a love of virtual worlds going back to 2006 and have a great deal of understanding of online worlds and online games. Thankyou for your post, but understand that this is aimed at protecting younger players, I come across Roblox players as young as 5 and 6 years old playing this game who are sometimes unsupervised online and who have very little understanding of strangers or dangers.

    • Thanks Milexpo for this comment. All of this advice is very important that you suggest, but many children simply don’t have “commonsense” They only get that through experience and guidance. And I’m not advocating “overprotection’ in any way shape or form. Overprotection is unnecessary protection that is not warranted. Protection however is very important for children that are naive and very young. We are talking about children as young as 5 years old that I know of that play this game. My own experience as a very experienced virtual world participant is that on Roblox, there are a lot of “Oders” and I have seen players totally unaware of what that is, and being talked into it. I’m also aware of some games that are entirely inappropriate for younger children. This post is to educate parents on what this game is, and how it works so that they can guide and help their children with the game, or make a decision that their child is in fact not ready for it. Roblox is simply not a safe game for an unsupervised younger child to play.

      • The Loser

        Yeh, I Use My Exploits To Stop These Dumb, Idiotic NASTY “ODers” And, I Just Try My Best To Help The ROBLOX Community To Be A Safe Place, But It Isn’t Working Because There Are LOTS and I Mean LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE BRAINWASHED BY THE STUPID ROBLOX ADMINS!!

  • xxDoggo

    As a ROBLOX Developer, most devs are incredibly smart people who learned multiple programming languages to make their games. They only earn a small fraction of what gets taken off a credit card, if any, and you don’t have to charge the credit card.

    Thanks.

    • Matthew Corbo

      This is so true. All of the money ROBLOX Developers get is usually a fraction of what they worked for. ROBLOX is completely free to play, and almost all of the games are free too. Usually the popular games such as Jailbreak are totally not trying to scam you or just take your money. Also, it’s not the game’s developer’s fault that there are people swearing. I’m not a developer but I know what it must be like.

  • DaWarTekWizard

    “Unlike Minecraft, that has different modes of play, you cannot play single player, or restrict games to “Friends Only” on Roblox. If your child creates their own Roblox game, it will go Public when it is launched. You cannot block other players from playing except players under 13+.”

    This is why ROBLOX is good, it teaches you how to script. You CAN make a script that only lets certain people in your game that you created.

    Any questions, my ROBLOX username is DaWarTekWizard.

  • Leah Elizabeth

    im starting to get very worried about this online game. i wondered why my father has been against this game. and it takes up too much of my time. i have reported bullies, hackers, and people that have been disgusting. if you see any of these things occur in the game, do this: step 1: write down the persons name, step 2: search the player, step 3: report abuse about him/her. step 4: block them completley. step 5: it is best not to play for a while. next time use extreme caution. and look out for the dangers in this game!!

    • Thanks for this Leah, I agree with you.

    • The Loser

      The Problem Is, ROBLOX Is Now Way Too Lazy To Even CARE For Their Community. They Support ODers (Online Daters), They Don’t Read Reports, And A Bunch Of Other Bad Stuff. ROBLOX Is Only Doing All Of This Bad Stuff For One Thing, MONEY. Yes ROBLOX Was Much Of A Better Game Back Then, 2006 To Mid 2013, But Now, ROBLOX Is Bad And Not Safe. Just ROBLOX IS SUCH A BAD GAME NOW! I Have A ROBLOX Account And I Joined 8/13/2015. What Do I Do Now? Well Something That May Be Against The TOS (Terms Of Service) Of ROBLOX, Exploiting. I Own Two Paid Script Executors For The Game, But I Don’t Do Any Of That Nasty Stuff Because It Is Just MESSED UP.

    • The Loser

      I Own RC7, 25$ And ProtoSmasher, 50$. But I Use These Exploits For Good. I Use These Exploits ( Or What You Would Call “Hacks” ) To Stop People From Doing Nasty/Disgusting Actions.

  • Jeff from the overwatch team

    guys roblox is not safe for your kid because my son got addicted to this silly game. He now plays it 24/7. I try to stop him by setting password lock on my computer but he always guess the password lock right on my computer.

  • Jeff from the overwatch team

    Anything is not safe 4 ur kid cuz u need 2 protecc ur kid so ya stop them play kool gamez which bad for child

  • The Loser

    I Wish They Could Bring Back The OLD ROBLOX. It Was Way Better, And Way More Of A Safe Game… Back Then, Thats When IT WAS a Game For Children.