How to Keep Kids Safe When Using an Xbox One

As a busy parent trying to handle everything all at once, it’s easy to give in and keep your kids busy by letting them play video games. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s your job as a parent to make sure your kids are safe.

The default settings on the Xbox One give your child access to all sorts of online content you may not be aware of. They also let your child connect online with people of all ages. And remember, these people can be complete strangers.

If you’re looking to ramp up the security settings on your kid’s Xbox One, take a look at these child safety and privacy settings, as well as some bonus tips.

1. Filter Content

One of the first things you should do once you buy an Xbox One is filter the apps, websites, and games your child can access. This guarantees they’re only accessing age-appropriate content.  It also gives you a chance to have a conversation with your child about what is and isn’t appropriate.

2. Research Game Age Ratings

Much like the movies, Xbox games have ratings that help parents determine whether games are appropriate or not:

  • Early Childhood: Ages 3 and up with no inappropriate material.
  • Everyone: Ages 6+ with some mild violence and language.
  • Everyone 10+: 10 and older with cartoons, fantasy, mild violence and language, and suggestive themes.
  • Teen: 13 and older with crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling.
  • Mature: 17+ with intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and strong language.
  • Rating Pending: awaiting rating.
  • Adults Only: 18 and older.

Understanding the rating system can help you decide which games your child are ready to play.

3. Limit Purchases

Xbox consoles let gamers make in-game purchases. You can buy new games, upgrades, and even special features to help you win. But they all come at a cost that can add up quickly.

You can control in-game purchases by:

  • Creating a passkey that’s required to finalize purchases
  • Withholding credit card information on your account
  • Completely logging out every time you’re done
  • Adding an Xbox gift card to limit spending

4. Create Privacy Settings

One of the most exciting things about playing the Xbox One is that you can connect with others while playing. This is especially true when playing games like Fortnite and Minecraft, both of which are popular among kids.

That said, when you child wears their cool, new Xbox One headset, you can’t always tell who they’re talking to. This raises some concern, especially for young and vulnerable kids.

If you want to decide who your children can engage with online, start by restricting the activity and profile information others can see. This way no can see when they’re online or their name, location, and other personal information. In addition, limit online interactions to just friends and family if you want your kids to be extra safe.

5. Track Activity

Increasing screen time as a way to distract your kids while you make dinner at night is one thing. But allowing unlimited play time can quickly become dangerous to your child’s well-being.

Luckily, you can monitor your child’s console use through activity reporting. You’ll get an email each week outlining websites visited, games and apps used, and terms they searched online. You’ll also see how many hours they logged. This is a great way to make sure your kids aren’t sneaking in extra play time.

And there you have it! 5 simple ways to keep your kids safe while they play their Xbox Ones and you get some grown up things done.