- What is Roblox?
- Potential Dangers of Roblox
- Common Roblox Scams to Be Aware Of
- Parental Controls on Roblox
- How to Keep Your Kids Safe on Roblox
Launched in 2006, Roblox is now one of the most popular video games, with more than half of the kids and teens in the U.S. playing Roblox games in 2020. However, with this growth came opportunity. Both old and young people saw a chance to make money off the platform, making a once-innocent game not so safe.
All that said, Roblox can still be considered safe for kids, but specific parental controls should be enforced, and kids should be educated on best practices before being let loose on the platform.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is a platform that allows people to both develop and play online multiplayer games. It's been described as a website created for gamers by gamers, giving people the opportunity to hone their development skills.
Those on Roblox simply to play popular games (and not create) can interact with other players, with many making friends, socializing, and chatting with others from across the globe.
Cost of Roblox
Roblox is free for download on:
- iOS and Android devices
- Desktop computers
Although the gaming platform is free, there are in-game purchases that players can make. You can earn and use Robux, the in-game currency, earning this currency by creating games or buying it with real money.
You can also exchange Robux for real money if you're over 13 years of age and have a premium subscription to Roblox.
Potential Dangers of Roblox
As with any online platform, especially those that encourage interaction with strangers, risks are involved. Here are some of the main dangers of using Roblox that parents should be aware of and how to educate your kids and keep them safe.
Turn on Parental Controls
Always have parental controls turned on when your kids play Roblox. Even if you trust your kids to play the game safely, scammers and predators come up with sneaky ways to trick people into engaging them.
Unfortunately, Predators are everywhere online, and Roblox is no different from any other online platform they frequent.
There is always a risk that dangerous predators will contact your children, even if you've got parental controls. Predators will commonly use third-party chat apps or social media platforms to get around these controls and gain access to your kids.
Roblox gives kids another platform to access uncensored inappropriate content. For example, strangers can send them links to violent or sexual videos and websites, and there may even be some games that have concerning content.
Despite Roblox Studio being a free gaming platform, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on the game each year. In 2020, more than $300 million was spent in a single quarter.
"Rare" Items = Outrageous Spending
Many children are spending crazy amounts of real money to buy rare items on Roblox. Unfortunately, scammers prey on Roblox players knowing they are younger and aren't old enough to fully understand the value of their parents' money.
Players are encouraged to buy Robux (the in-game currency) with actual money. For kids, this is usually done by spending their parents' money via a connected credit card. On top of this, there are also several scams targeting players with the ultimate goal of stealing money.
Common Roblox Scams to Be Aware Of
There are several scams that both parents and Roblox players need to be aware of, as they can lead to the loss of thousands of dollars and even identity theft.
Sketchy Player Trading
Roblox players will often want to trade items with each other. There are official ways to do this within the platform—using the Trade or Selling feature. However, many scammers will try to convince you to trade outside of the official platform.
They do this to scam you out of your money or item without giving you anything in return. If you agree to make a trade on another platform outside of the two Roblox features mentioned above, you're not covered for any loss.
Deals Too Good to Be True
Scammers will often entice you into handing over something of value with the promise of something better in return. For example, a player could tell you they'll give you a rare item if you send them your credit card information. However, once you give them your credit card details, they won't complete their end of the bargain, leaving you without your item and your parents with a huge credit card bill.
Another common scam involves scammers tricking you into downloading malware or entering your personal information. These are all attempts to steal your identity, which can take years to recover from.
They may try to steal:
- Your usernames and passwords (including to your Roblox account)
- Credit card information
- Social Security number
- Answers to your security questions
Don't ever provide your personal information to people you don't know, including your name.
Parental Controls on Roblox
Account restrictions give you some control over your child's account and create rules on what they can and can't do when playing on Roblox. You can:
- Restrict or disable online chat capabilities
- Restrict access to specific games only
- Set a monthly spending limit
- Restrict who they can talk to
To access these controls, log into Roblox and go into Settings > Security to create a PIN that your kids don't know and won't be able to guess.
Once you've created and enabled the PIN, go into Privacy to customize who your kids can communicate with when they're on the platform.
Then you can go into Settings > Parental Controls to control other restrictions you want to set for your kids.
Of course, these controls only cover what happens within the game—scammers and predators will try to contact other players in real life, outside of the platform.
How to Keep Your Kids Safe on Roblox
To keep your kids safe while playing Roblox, without banning them from playing the game altogether, it's essential to do two things:
- Educate them on how to play the game safely
- Enable restrictions and controls both within the game and on your device
Report Inappropriate Content and Players
Roblox has a feature that allows you to report inappropriate people, content, or abusive behavior. Simply click on the player's profile, then hit the "Report Abuse" link.
Educating Your Kids
Your kids must know the dangers of online games that encourage interaction between strangers. Make sure they don't:
- Give their personal information to other players (including social media handles)
- Communicate with players outside of the app
- Communicate with scammers or potentially dangerous people
Additionally, help them understand that scammers can do a lot with just a little information, and they shouldn't trust random strangers online.
Other users who your children may think are their friends online could be someone dangerous.
Enabling Account Restrictions
Make sure you set parental controls both within Roblox and on the device your kids use to play the game. Use a PIN code that they don't know (and can't guess), and make sure they're restricted from making additional purchases.
Also, keep an eye on your credit card statement for extra peace of mind that your kids aren't charging ridiculous amounts of money for online gaming to your account!