Xbox have recently introduced their all new family settings. Xbox, which is part of the Microsoft family, are committed to making gaming a fun, inclusive and safe experience for everyone. This means that all the family can enjoy a positive and rewarding experience whilst gaming.
Last week I attended a session which was held by Xbox to learn in more detail all about their family settings. Following this session Xbox have loaned me an Xbox One S so that I can set up the Xbox for my family so we can all have a safe and enjoyable experience gaming.
I have always loved gaming and there is no doubt that Xbox has always been my favourite gaming platform. I’m a dad of five children and two of my older children are both Xbox players. I think I converted them very early on!
I’m also a dad of seven year old twin girls and they are now beginning to show an interest in gaming. This is great, but I want to make sure that we all enjoy gaming as a family. As they grow up and I’m sure they’ll eventually go online. When they do I want peace of mind that they are safe. I also want to be able to have a discussion with them about how much time they spend online and also ensure that the content that they are either playing or viewing is age appropriate.
In today’s world of technology moving at a breakneck speed this can be tough to handle. So when I was introduced to the Xbox family hub in a session with Paulo De Oliveria who is an expert in parent controls and family gaming on Xbox. I was very impressed by the way Xbox is leading the way in making everybody safe online.
Keeping our children safe online is so important and a recent survey carried out by UKIE they found many shocking statistics. Two of which were that:
45% of children said that their parents don’t help them check privacy settings when playing games online
33% of students say their parents don’t enforce any time limits to their online activity
The Xbox family settings guide is perfect for parents that don’t necessarily always understand online gaming. but It will go a long way to help educate parents about ant possible dangers online for our children, and it will also help parents set screen time limits, filter content that is age appropriate, set purchase limits which will all goes towards having a brilliant, but safe time whilst gaming.
As I have already touched upon there are four key areas where parents and their children can set up their family settings. What I thought was particular good about the family settings, is it opens up a discussion between parent and child. Which is very important when they are teenagers, it makes it all very transparent. Which means that parents and children can decide a way forward together that is acceptable to both. Having this conservation could be the difference between staying safe online or not.
1. Content Restrictions
This is to ensure that your children only have access to age appropriate content. What is also particularly good about this is that it can be customised for each child so older children are not limited to younger sisters or brothers content. Your children can also ask for access to games etc, which parents can approve as ok or decline, but what this does more importantly is open up a conversation between parent and child about appropriate content.
2. Purchase Controls
This is excellent for controlling spending by a child while gaming. It allows parents to customise how purchases are made and they will receive an email after each purchase so you always know what is going on. You can also add money to your child’s account to make their own purchases to a specific limit and once it’s gone it’s gone.
All purchases can be approved by a parent on a child’s account using a Passkey, so if you are not sure about a purchase your child is trying to make it gives you the opportunity to talk about it first.
3. Screen Time Management
This is something I particularly love because sometimes kids can get involved with a game and just get lost and totally obsessed so the fact that you can limit screen time and schedule the entire week to make sure that homework is done or they are sitting down with the family for tea, or just having a day off to have a family day.
Of course when you are gaming you so often need to finish a certain part in order to save the game, but if your child is running out of time and maybe needs an extra ten minutes to finish you can alter the schedule to allow them the extra time.
4. Privacy & Online Safety
Parents can now make sure exactly how their kids interact with others on Xbox by managing who can communicate and play games with their children, as well as restrict the activity and any profile information about your children. This is vital when it comes to multi-player games such as the hugely popular Fortnite and Minecraft.
You can also limit the interactions to only family and friends and you can pre-approve all friends that your children talk to online.
I found setting up family settings on the Xbox really easy. It’s a very easy step by step guide that was easy to follow.
The digital age is putting enormous pressure on parents as our children go online more and more. For me it is vital we embrace this new age and more importantly educate ourselves so that we can keep our children safe. It is our responsibility as parents to make sure our children are safe not only on a day to day basis but also digitally. So when I see someone like Microsoft/Xbox taking this seriously and then supplying the tools to protect our children I applaud them for helping us to help our kids stay safe.
Check out my IGTV video below.
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Gaming is a fantastic experience, and it is the place so many of our children go for entertainment, but they need to be safe. Xbox are committed to making gaming a fun, inclusive and safe experience for everyone. Full blog post tomorrow all about the way as parents we can make gaming a rewarding and positive experience. @Xbox #xbox #gaming #staysafeonline #Xboxfamilyhub #microsoft @microsoft #kids Check out my Xbox Tattoo that’s called commitment! (I was loaned an Xbox One S to try out the new family settings)
As I said at the beginning, my seven year old twin girls are now starting to show an interest in gaming and it is so reassuring that as they become more interested in gaming that I know I can help them stay safe and have an open discussion if they have any problems whilst they are online when they get older.
I’m off now to start gaming with my children in the knowledge that we will all be safe by using the Xbox family settings. Check out the Xbox family settings video here.
Disclosure: For the purpose of this article I was loaned an Xbox One S to try out the family settings with my family.