Games can be great fun but if you’re playing games online it’s smart to think about what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Just like offline, not everyone is who they say they are online. When you’re online protect your personal information (like your real name, your phone number, your address, where you go to school and where you like to hang out) and don’t share it with people you don’t know and trust offline.
Bullying can happen in online games and it's not okay. It can include stuff like ganging up on another player to ruin their game, shouting and swearing at someone, or just ignoring someone on purpose so that they can't join in.
If you see it happening to someone else, you should be able to report it. If you're not sure how, explore the game and gaming device you're using as there should be a way to report abuse. If it's happening to you report it because you've got just as much right to enjoy gaming as everyone else. It can also help to talk to someone offline about it too. Just being able to offload to someone else can really help how you feel, and they might also be able to help stop the bullying.
If someone in a game is saying or doing something to make you feel uncomfortable, or if they're asking you to do sexual things, send them pictures, or even meet up with them offline, it's really important to tell someone you trust like your parent, guardian or someone else in your family.
If you want to report anything like that yourself you can click CEOP or get in touch with Devon and Cornwall Police. If you feel in danger phone 999 and speak to Devon and Cornwall Police. Remember that this is an emergency telephone number. If you want to speak to the police but it’s not an emergency you can telephone 101. You can also ask an adult you trust to phone the police for you.
A bit like movies, games have labels to help people understand what type of game they’re buying. Different games have different types of content and although they might be really popular some just aren’t suitable for children and young people. Find out more about the labels and what they mean on the PEGI website.
Gaming can be a lot of fun and a great way to relax, but try and balance how much time you’re spending online and offline. The internet isn't going anywhere so it's okay to take a break and your friends and family will probably want to spend time with you offline too!