Category Archives: Minecraft & Other Online Games

Advice for Parents on safety for Minecraft and other online games.

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+

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

K

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.

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.

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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