WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The creative and interactive app ‘Roblox has risen in popularity in previous years, now with more younger users.
The app is features an online gaming community that allows its users to design. create and share their own video games. Children can pick the theme, create their own avatar and even select colors featured.
However, there are features of the app that raise red flags according to the Victim’s Assistance Center of Jefferson County.
According to the center, there are chat rooms, incentives like “robux” and uncensored language and topics. Because the app is completely user-driven, unless parents or guardians choose to put restrictions on the app, children can have access to unfiltered content.
Kiley Hilyer, the Lead Advocate and Safe Hour Coordinator at the Victim’s Assistance Center, stated that as apps or games become more popular, there tends to be an increased concern for risks and red flags. This is constant across the digital world.
“I think predator’s are always the primary concern because they pose a great danger,” stated Hilyer. “But I think there are other dangers to consider too. Such as extended screen time. Screen time for kids is becoming a problem because they need constant stimulation. They need constant busy work in order to stay occupied so limiting the screen time is really important.”
Hilyer recommended parents or guardians to change privacy settings on children’s devices. These settings can be altered to block chatting or limit account visibility. She also suggested parents to use a security setting which allows a four-digit pin to be set.
Additionally, Hilyer informed that apps like Roblox and TikTok are COPPA Compliant. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is a Federal Law which limits the collection of personal information from children and monitors content, language, advertising and graphics. Those who violate COPPA compliance can face up to a $11,000 penalty per incident.
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