NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Newer gaming systems now let you play games online, but people you play with could be friends, or strangers pretending to be friends.
“Talk with their children about who are real friends, in the real world and online.” Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Christine Tetreault urges parents to pay close attention to what you children can access online.
On Friday night, 22News spoke with computer experts at Yes Computers in Northampton. They said most devices, including your phones, computers and gaming devices, now offer parental control features that you can activate easily.
According to Mark Wineburg from Yes Computers, “Not even suggested. It’s almost a requirement. If you’re going to have your younger children have access to any of these devices that have online access, it’s very important to use the parental controls.”
Specific instructions vary depending on the manufacturer, but in the case of a Mac computer, you can find “Parental Controls” under “System Preferences.”
Ramzi Nakhleh explained, “For the web, you know, you can restrict what websites specifically the users are allowed to access.
In terms of the social media, you can limit who this user can message, contact and e-mail.”
Setting passwords and restrictions will also prohibit kids from going on a shopping spree with your banking information saved on your device.
Nakhleh added that “They don’t still have to be in the same room or always constantly looking back at the screen, so I think it’s definitely helpful for the parents.”
It’s also a good idea to check the Entertainment Rating Software Board’s ratings before you buy games for your kids.