If you have a tween or teen, you’ve likely heard a lot of excited chatter about Roblox. With a reported 150 million users, there’s a good chance your child has the Roblox site on their phone, tablet, PC, or Xbox. In fact, in 2020, Roblox estimated that over half of kids in the U.S. under 16 had used the forum. However, as with all digital destinations, the fun of Roblox is not without some safety concerns.
Why do kids love Roblox?
Roblox is an online gaming forum (not an app or game as one might assume) where users can create and share games or just play games. Kids can play Roblox games with friends they know or join games with unknown players. Roblox hosts an infinite number of games (about 20 million), which makes it a fun place to build and share creations, chat, and make friends. Game creators can also make significant money if their games take off.
A huge component of Roblox is its social network element that allows users to chat and have meetups. During quarantine, Roblox added its own private space for users to host virtual private birthday parties and social gatherings.
Is Roblox safe for kids?
Like any site or app, Roblox is safe if you take the time to optimize parental controls (both in-forum and personal software), monitor your child’s use, and taking basic precautions you’re your child starts using the forum. Especially with kids drawn to gaming communities, it’s important to monitor conversations they can be having with anyone, anywhere.
Potential Safety Issues
- Connections with strangers. Like other popular apps and sites, users have reported predators on Roblox and there’s a concern about the forum’s easily accessible chat feature bad actors may use to target their victims. Too, there’s a “Chat & Party” window on nearly every page of the site that any user can access.
Roblox security tip: Adjust settings to prohibit strangers’ from friending an account. Consider watching your child play a few games and how he or she interacts or wanders through the app. Pay close attention to the chat feature. Keep the conversation open, so your child feels comfortable sharing online concerns with you.
- Potential cyberbullying. Users can join almost any game at any time, which opens the door to possible cyberbullying. Roblox security tip: Adjust settings to block mature games and talk with kids about handling inappropriate chats, live conversations, and comments. Also, know where to report bullying or any other rule violation on the forum.
- Inappropriate content. Because Roblox game content is user-generated, game content can range from harmless and cute to games containing violent and sexual storylines or characters, according to reports. Roblox security tip: Adjust settings to block mature games. Commit to constant monitoring to ensure settings are intact. Ask your child about their favorite games and evaluate the content yourself.
- In-app currency. Robux is the platform’s in-app currency kids can use to purchase accessories games such as pets, clothes, and weapons for different. As we’ve noted in the past, kids can rack up some hefty charges when in-app currency is allowed. Roblox Security Tip: Set limits with kids on purchases or adjust Roblox settings to prohibit in-app purchases.
Additional Roblox Security
If you have your child’s login information, you can easily view their activity history in a few vulnerable areas including private and group chats, friends list, games played, games created, and items purchased. It’s also a good idea to make sure their birthdate is correct since Roblox automatically filters chats and game content for users under 13. Roblox has a separate login for parents of younger kids that allows you to go in and view all activities.
As always, the best way to keep your child safe on Roblox or any other site or app is to take every opportunity for open, honest conversation about personal choices and potential risks online. Oh, and sitting down to play their favorite games with them — is always the best seat in the house.
To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home and @McAfee_Family on Twitter, subscribe to our newsletter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like us on Facebook.