Many teenagers and children play online games in their free time. Most computer games are entertaining, bring people together and some games even have learning effects. But there are also games through which children and teenagers can encounter inappropriate content or unpleasant contacts. Parental control settings can help reduce such risks when playing on the console. Microsoft offers the Xbox family settings and the Xbox Family Safety App.
With the settings options, you can specify that your child can only access age-appropriate computer games. It is also possible to set how much time may be spent with the XBox. To counteract communication risks such as cybergrooming, you can specify who your child can communicate with, what data your child can see, and whether he or she can participate in multiplayer games. The community and chat platform Xbox Live can be made more secure by using chat filters. This filters out expletives and insults, for example. Activity reports record what and how much was played on the game console.
The settings can be made online via the website, directly on the Xbox or via the app. In order to use Xbox Family Settings , a separate Microsoft account must be created for each family member. Once all accounts have been merged into a family group, settings can be made for individual (child) accounts. For this, certain accounts have organizer rights. If a game or website exceeds the specified age restriction or the screen time has expired, your child will need clearance from your organizer account. You will be notified of this by message or via the Xbox Family Safety app .
Since each family member needs their own Microsoft account, data about each using person is automatically collected. Microsoft states that it will neither pass the data on to third parties nor use it for its own advertising purposes. However, there is always a risk that data can be passed on to unauthorized persons through data leaks. As parents, be aware of this and carefully consider which of your data may be collected and stored.
Age ratings for games are very general and may not necessarily fit your child. Children of the same age can deal differently with tension, depictions of violence and the like. That’s why you shouldn’t rely on age information alone and not simply allow all games that are approved for your child’s age in the settings. Find out about different games, e.g. at the NRW game guide, look at desired games yourself, if possible, and have your child explain why he or she wants to play a particular game.
The older your child gets, the more he or she will be exposed to different media and content on the web. Competent and safe handling is therefore very important and should be supported within a safe framework. No parental controls or parental settings offer one hundred percent protection. Improved parental control settings can help promote conscious media use and improve protection online. However, they are no substitute for parents accompanying their children through the media. Use the offer as additional help, but still talk to your child about his experiences and keep an eye on his media behavior.