The internet is getting bigger and bigger every day, and it is important that parents feel in control of what their children are spending their money on. Games are no longer just items that you buy from the store, but they now include in-game purchases, and ‘Loot boxes’, which some people are likening to gambling.
To help parents gain more control over their children’s content and online purchases, internetmatters.org and Barclays Digital Eagles have come out with a new guide for children and young people with ten points on how to build good online money management habits.
The first point that the guide makes is that parents should get familiar with in-app purchases that are available on the platforms that their children use. While people might take an interest in the physical aspects of their children’s lives, it is very important to have a full understanding of the online part as well. The guide goes on to recommend using the parental controls that might be available, but it is also good to establish ground rules when purchasing, such as asking for parental confirmation.
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As Barclays Digital Eagles wrote, “Their pocket money used to go a long way, now it can vanish in a few clicks.”
The Internet Matters guide covers many issues that parents have been raising concerns about. These include in-app purchases, such as ‘loot boxes’ and how they work. It can be good to discuss this with children as the buzz that you get opening a box of unknowns can be addictive, and lead to huge online spending.
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The government is starting to crack down on ‘loot boxes’, with The House of Lords Gambling Committee saying that they should be regulated under gambling laws. They want to classify them under ‘games of chance‘ putting them into the gambling bracket.
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By discussing physical comparisons with children, it can help them better understand the reality of the money they are spending. With the online world being a greater presence in young peoples lives, it is important that children are able to understand the value of money.