How to turn off video game messaging so sexual predators can’t contact your children

Most video games allow for parental controls.

How to turn off video game messaging so sexual predators can’t contact your children
Brooke Storey loves playing the online video game Roblox.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland19 is investigating how child predators use video game chats to target children.

Unfortunately we found it happens more often than you may think.

Over just four days on Memorial Day weekend, police arrested 22 men in an undercover operation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, known as ICAC.

One in five children between 10 and 17 years of age reported receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation online, according to a study from the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

One in 33 received an aggressive sexual solicitation -- a solicitor who ask to meet them somewhere, called them on the telephone, sent them mail, money, or gifts. One in 17 was threatened or harassed online in the last year.

Only a fraction of all episodes were reported to authorities such as a law enforcement agency, an Internet service provider, or a hotline.

Below you can learn how to turn off the messaging in several popular video games.

We found most games offer parental controls.

Brooke Storey loves playing the online video game Roblox.
Brooke Storey loves playing the online video game Roblox. (WOIO)

ROBLOX

You can turn off chat options, pick age visibility (13 and over or 13 and younger), add an account PIN code and set parental account restrictions.

TURN OFF CHAT

-Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the page for Account Settings

-Then click on Settings

-Click on Privacy and select no one under "Who can chat with me in app?"

-Hit Save

"Roblox’s mission is to inspire imagination and it is our responsibility to provide a safe and civil platform for play. As safety is our top priority -- we have robust systems and parental controls in place to protect our platform and its users."

-Roblox Spokesperson

MINECRAFT

You can set a child account that parents have control over. If your child is under 13 years old, they need your permission to create an Xbox Live account.

TURN OFF CHAT

-Java edition and in Nintendo Switch: use in-game controls

-Bedrock edition: turn off chat in the platform-provided networks

“Helping keep kids safer online is a priority for Microsoft. We provide parental controls for devices and gaming to help parents choose the content, communication and sharing settings that are right for their families. ” – Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Microsoft.

FORTNITE

Cleveland19 did not hear back from Fortnite, but we found these instructions from

-Open the Settings menu in the top right of the main Fortnite page by selecting the three bars, then the cog icon.

-Choose the Audio tab at the top of the screen.

-You can adjust several audio features, including voice chat.

-Turn the setting off.

DISCORD

(Voice and text chat for video games)

You can set who can send your teen direct messages or friend requests.

TURN OFF CHAT

-Go to User Settings, Privacy & Safety

-Turn off “Allow direct messages from server members” option.

-In the same menu, under “Who can add you as a friend,” you can deselect “everyone” and “server members.”

Click here for the Roblox parent page and parent guide.

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