From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns. This year, Xbox is celebrating the 20th annual Safer Internet Day by reaffirming their commitment to an online world where everyone is empowered to have fun within the boundaries they set. I love playing games and the joy it brings to me, my friends and my family. I was a pretty active kid in my early years and didn’t get into gaming until around 10 years of age with the family PC. I certainly got hooked on games like Alley Cat, Dangerous Dave, Commander Keen, Secret of Monkey Island and King’s Quest. Back then (we’re talking early 90’s) we didn’t have the Internet, and playing multiplayer meant pulling a chair next to mine so we could either share the keyboard, or we would take turns and swap every 10 minutes.
Fast forward to 2023 and I am father to two beautiful daughters aged 5 and 2. The Internet connects us all to everything from my PC to my iPhone, and for my kids who have access to the Xbox Series X and other gaming consoles. It’s important that I am able to provide them a safe place to play with as many content filters as I can in order to give them access only to age-appropriate activities. I am always learning about new ways to keep my girls safe and likely always will be learning. This is the first time I have come across Safer Internet Day and I wish I had known about it sooner! There are some great initiatives that get me thinking as a parent and arm me with information and options to share with other parents around me.
Kim Kunes, General Manager, Xbox Trust and Safety recently sat down with Xbox Podcast’s Jeff Rubenstein and outlined Xbox’s evolving approach to safety, and how players, parents and caregivers of all ages can work together to leverage the resources at Xbox in a way that fits their personal safety preferences. In addition to her role at Xbox, Kim is also a player and a customer. Wearing these different hats has enabled her to experience first-hand the ways gaming can allow for open conversations between parents, children and caregivers about staying safe while online, and also about good habits around budgeting, screen time, and more.
Xbox have created many family-friendly resources, such as the Xbox Family Hub, as a one-stop shop for information about Xbox safety and privacy, the Xbox Data Collection for Kids website to teach kids about Xbox privacy, and they have well-established Community Standards and guidelines, so players understand what types of interactions are acceptable and not acceptable on our platform. Xbox have now launched a new immersive game-based learning experience called Minecraft Education Privacy Prodigy, aimed at players aged 7-18 and teaches them how to keep their personal data safe. Each challenge is constructed to help students and their parents learn how to make more informed decisions about who should have access to their personal data and why.
This single-player experience introduces young people to the concept of areas of trust. They’ll develop the ability to identify the different types of information they need to manage and what they can share. Players will also learn strategies for protecting their personal data and ways to mitigate any issues that arise from compromised information. Privacy Prodigy is available in the Minecraft Education lesson library. If your friends or family play the Bedrock version of Minecraft at home, access Privacy Prodigy for free in the Minecraft Marketplace.