Got a Video Game System? Then You’ve Got Parental Controls
If you’ve got kids, it’s likely you also have video games — played on a game console, like an Xbox, Wii, or PlayStation, or on a handheld gaming device.
If so, there’s something else you have: parental controls. They’re already built into many game systems. You just have to use them. Parental controls help you make sure your kids play according to your rules, whether it’s limiting which kinds of games they can play or keeping them from accessing online features.
Parental controls available on your game system might include:
• Game Rating Restrictions: This setting lets you decide which games can be played on a console or handheld gaming device based on the rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
• Disabling Internet Access: This keeps your kids from accessing online features — like online chat — if you don’t want them to.
• In-game Purchase Restrictions: This lets you set up a password to prevent kids from buying downloadable games or content.
Other potential parental controls include the ability to set limits on when, and how long, someone can play, and the option of creating profiles with different settings for different players.
Want to find out more? Check out the FTC’s new article Kids, Parents, and Video Games. It’s also got information about parental controls and ratings for mobile apps.
Parental controls are great tools. Even so, they’re no substitute for talking to your kids about what you’ve decided is right for your family.