The school board is helping parents by giving them tips to handle their kids playing Fortnite.
Fortnite, the increasingly popular online game, pits hundreds of players against each other in a “Battle Royale”.
With the number of young children and teens that play the game, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board has extended an olive branch of sorts. The board has shared tips from National Online Safety, a company dedicated to protecting children online.
NOS’ tips for parents include what to know about the game including the fact that there is no proof of age required, the game features an ESRB rating of T for Teen and the fact that you can talk to strangers while in “squad mode”.
According to NOS, other things to keep in mind is the fact that the game is free to play, but it features microtransactions. Those are when players use a credit card to purchase items in-game like weapons or skins for their avatar.
The tips offered by NOS through the school board are to limit the amount of time your child plays. The safety-focused group points out that typically matches can last up to twenty minutes so it is good to talk with the kids to set a max time they are allowed to play consecutively.
Another tip is to restrict the kid’s ability to buy things in-game. They suggest doing this by removing your card or payment method from the account, and if you are okay with them making a purchase buy a gift card specific to the console they use.
To protect children from dealing with online abuse or inappropriate behaviour, it is encouraged to show them how to report that behaviour. Many games and the servers that host them will ban reported players.
Although many online games feature the ability to talk to other players, NOS recommends turning off the chat feature so that children are not talking to strangers.
Just like real life, the game Fortnite has had reported scams come around, and that is why NOS encourages parents to talk to their kids about online scams.
The final tip is to use a strong password for any account the kids might use. Strong passwords have upper and lower case letters, numbers and other characters.
A link to NOS’ safety guide can be found here.