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Parents, do you know who’s chatting with the kids on Roblox?

May 23, 2024, 7:00 AM

File: Day Two of the Girl Gamer Esports Festival in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Cyber security exp...

FILE: Day Two of the Girl Gamer Esports Festival in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Cyber security experts urge parents to talk to their children about trust, especially if they are using the popular gaming platform Roblox. (Christopher Pike /Getty Images)

(Christopher Pike /Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — If your children are some of the millions of kids playing the online game “Roblox” every day, cybersecurity experts ask that you keep your eyes and ears open, along with lines of communication with your children.

Roblox is an online gaming platform used by 71.5 million people every day. About half of those users are under age 13.

Users can play games created by others, or create their own games (or experiences as the company refers to them).

It’s the chat feature of Roblox that poses a major risk, according to experts.

Xmission founder Pete Ashdown said the game could expose kids to online predators.  It’s just one more reason, he said, that parents need to teach their kids about trust, and who to trust online.

“This thing is ongoing,” Ashdown said about online risks to kids. “It’s all about trust and verification.”

Ashdown suggests teaching kids how to be skeptical of strangers online, just as they would be of strangers in person.

“It’s like teaching a kid to swim, if you’re worried about your kid drowning, give them swimming lessons,” he said. “If you’re worried about your kid being suckered by somebody on the internet, sit down with them and talk with them about what trust means… How you verify if somebody is the real deal.”

The Roblox app does have age preference settings, along with other parental controls. Supervising kids while they’re online is an option for parents. There’s no one-size fits all fix, but talking with children about internet safety is a good place to start.

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Parents, do you know who’s chatting with the kids on Roblox?