Roblox is the most popular game in the world for children ages 5 through 12. As of August 2020, Robolox had over 164 million monthly active users. Around half of them are American children under the age of 16. But they may be in danger of accessing content inappropriate for them, or even worse: allowing scammers to gain access to family financial information.
Roblox is an online game developed by the Roblox Corporation. It launched in 2006 on Windows PCs, MacOS, iOS and Android mobile devices, and the Xbox One console. It is a free-to-play game that allows users to create their own content or experience games created by other users. Its popularity grew in the late 2010s and exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns preventing children from attending school and interacting with friends, Roblox gave them a virtual environment to coordinate and hang out. Many noted that this was an excellent tool for kids to still interact socially, with many virtual birthday parties taking place in-game.
However, Titania Jordan, Chief Parenting Officer for Bark Technologies, recently posted a tech safety note to Instagram. From mature content that's inappropriate for children to dangerous scams designed to prey on unsuspecting victims, Jordan says that there are five things all parents should be aware of.
On the surface, condo games seem like a safe topic. In reality, they're anything but. Condo Games is a subculture of Roblox users that make “games” revolving around sex. Naked avatars interact in sexually suggestive ways that amount to interactive pornography. As you can imagine, this is inappropriate for children. Parents must make sure they're monitoring the type of content their children are accessing in the game to protect them from being exposed to this more adult fare.
Roblox Discord Servers
A Discord server is an online community of fans outside the game. Discord servers exist for a wide variety of communities, whether for video games, fans of Twitch streamers, and more. Twitch has age-restricted servers, and the platform is intended for people ages 13 and up. However, after the initial signup process, Discord does not verify ages.
That raises the possibility that younger children may be exposed to inappropriate content. Jordan mentions that joining a Roblox Discord server “presents a huge risk for kids, from interacting with online predators to links to inappropriate content.”
Inappropriate Roblox YouTube Videos
YouTube is a vital resource for all gamers to learn helpful tips and tricks in their game of choice, including Roblox. Additionally, YouTube and the streaming service Twitch allow children to interact with Roblox without playing it.
But if parents have deemed Roblox unsafe for their children, that doesn't stop the kids from finding other ways to see potentially harmful game content online. Jordan stresses the importance of parental vigilance. Even if your kids can’t play the game, they can still watch tons of videos of Roblox on YouTube and Twitch.
Bypassed Audio Clips
Roblox has a feature that allows its users to upload audio files. While this is generally harmless fun, there is the potential for children to hear dangerous audio clips. Audio editing software allows hackers to upload an audio clip that passes the Roblox moderators. But when the sound is played in game, using an ID code, a different – bypassed – audio clip is played that is not safe for children's ears.
These clips can include profanity, violence, sexual content, and more. As mentioned earlier, parents must monitor what their children access in-game.
In Roblox, players can use in-game currency, called Robux, to purchase upgrades. This ranges customization options for your in-game character or other mini-games within Roblox. The problem here is that this opens the potential for dangerous phishing scams.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, a phishing scam is “a type of online scam that targets consumers by sending them an e-mail that appears to be from a well-known source. It asks the consumer to provide personal identifying information. Then a scammer uses the information to open new accounts, or invade the consumer's existing accounts.”
Scammers present opportunities that look too good to be true, preying on a child's excitement to gain access to personal information, such as bank accounts.
Parents should warn their children that if someone offers them free Robux, to just ignore them.
The FTC also offers helpful tips to recognize and protect yourself from phishing scams. In addition to being vigilant for offers too good to be true, other steps can be taken to protect you and your family. For example, you can protect your computer by using security software. In addition, if the person reaching out to you offers you an item with no strings attached, it is most likely a phishing scam.
If someone responds to a phishing scam or a scammer has your personal information, the FTC recommends you visit IdentityTheft.gov and follow the steps to protect yourself. You can also report phishing attempts by emailing email@example.com. If you get a phishing scam through text, forward it to SPAM (7226).
Despite positive reviews from game critics, many are concerned about Roblox‘s in-game moderation and seemingly exploitative practices targeted at children. Following the proper steps to ensure your child is safe while playing Roblox is essential.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.