Gaming is fun, but can be all consuming. Below, we use the story of Breck Bednar to encourage everyone to game safe.
If you are a parent who wants to find information about what safety controls you can put in place on a device, go to the Internet Matters page.
The simplest advice for parents? Always be open to conversations with your child about games they are playing, and share the story of Breck to let them know how to stay safe.
Breck Bednar was a 14 year old boy, from Surrey, who loved technology and online gaming. He was groomed by somebody he met while gaming, and sadly murdered on February 17th 2014 by this person. The BRECK Foundation has been set up in his memory to help other young people enjoy gaming safely.
They promote the phrase 'Play Virtual/Live Real' to remind young people of this message.
Below, Breck's mother Lorin LaFave shares what she thinks could be done to stop this tragedy reoccurring, and how groomers can target anyone, plus hear from Breck's friends on what happened, as part of a longer film for the BBC.
TOP TIPS - B.R.E.C.K.
Be aware of the risks when gaming; files you are asked to click on may contain viruses; messages may be of an abusive nature.
Report anything that is making you feel uncomfortable or worried online. This can be to a parent, guardian or teacher. You can also report to the Police or CEOP. You can also call Childline on 0800 1111 for support.
Educate - someone online may be catfishing you; and telling lies about who they are, what they do, or what opportunties they may have for you. Always check the info someone shares about themselves with other sites to see if it is true.
Communicate - if you do decide to meet up with somebody you know from gaming or social media, only meet in a public place, and always talk to a parent or carer beforehand.
Know the signs of grooming when online. Often, groomers will pretend to have similar interests as you; try and remove you from your friends and family; or give you expensive items (phones/jewellery). Ditch The Label have the tips you need to catch a catfish out!
Prevent Online Grooming: Keep Your Family Safe
Our 'Prevent Online Grooming' training session for parents, carers and youth professionals offers an insight into the games and social media young people are using; the grooming process; as well as tips and advice to protect young people. You can find a session running near you, and book on via our Eventbrite page.
If you are part of, or have, a parents group who would like to receive this training, but dates are not available, please email us at email@example.com
Warwickshire CSE's website has more in depth information, and links to support for anyone in Warwickshire if you think something's not right.
Impaired control when gaming
Prioritising gaming over other interests
Escalation of gaming despite negative consequences
Those (of ANY age) suffering from Gaming Disorder for at least 12 months may be able to get help from the NHS
Fortnite is one of 2018's biggest online games. Although it is free to download and play some are developing new ways to hack others and make a profit through negative means, however there are way to prevent hacking from occurring.