Can you (should you?) switch off 'chat' options in smartphone and online games?
1 expert has answered
This will depend on the child and the safety controls in place in the game or device being used (e.g. Smartphone or games console). Many apps/games which are aimed at children will provide tools such as language filtering and human moderators to help protect users and some games/apps will allow you to disable the option entirely. This is really important for younger children in order to help prevent them from being accidentally exposed to inappropriate content or behaviour. It’s a good idea to check the recommended age rating for the app or game and check if they have any advice for parents or tools which can be applied to help safeguard children. Always check the Smartphone’s manufacturer, mobile phone provider or game console manufacturers websites for advice and information on how to set parental controls, time limits and for advice about safe family use. The UK Safer Internet Centre has put together some useful factsheets with hints and tips about the most popular devices which highlight the safety tools available and seek to empower parents with the knowledge they need to support their children to use these technologies safely and responsibly here: www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/a-parents-guide.