North Wales Police’ Cyber Crime Team and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are joining with online safety experts, Get Safe Online, to highlight the threats of online gaming and how youngsters can game safely.

The benefits of online gaming include strategic thinking, rationalising, problem solving and persistence to supporting development of a wide range of cognitive and motor skills. It can encourage creativity while socialising, albeit virtually. But there are also many risks. To help children stay safe online, check the age ratings of games, join your child gaming from time to time and randomly, and have open and honest conversations with about their online gaming and the risks involved including stranger danger, bullying and oversharing. Tell them not everybody they meet on gaming platforms and forums is who they claim to be.

Also, set and monitor daily or weekly time limits for gaming. You could pre-load spending money on a game, but be clear that when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Don’t give your child access to your payment card details.

Impress upon your child that they can come to you or another responsible adult with any concerns. Depending on their age, you could also discuss how to report issues to the gaming platform and/or the police.

PC Dewi Owen from North Wales Police’s Cyber Crime Team said: “For lots of youngsters gaming is often a very important part of their lives and they enjoy the community aspect of it. It’s an opportunity to socialise, have fun and be creative. Gaming communities are often positive spaces for youngsters to discuss shared passions and interests.

“However, being part of online communities can sometimes expose youngsters to bullying, inappropriate content or comments or risks associated with stranger contact. It’s important parents or guardians show an interest in their gaming and have open conversations to find out who they are gaming with online, who they’re communicating with and what they’re discussing. It’s important that youngsters understand that not everyone online is who they say they are. Consider setting up parent accounts or parental controls on games consoles to mitigate some of the risks and make sure that youngsters have a list of trusted adults that they can speak to if something worries or upsets them when gaming. It’s also important to help youngsters to understand the benefits of taking regular breaks from gaming and consider setting healthy screen time limits.”

For free, practical advice on staying safe online visit