Did you know that around the world, more money is spend on games than on the film industry?


With the internet you can play with many people through online games such as World of Warcraft, Clash of Clans or gaming portals like Miniclip.


Being able to game with people all over the world makes online gaming even more exciting and with the ability to ‘chat’ in these games, it is easy to ‘make friends’ with the people you play with.


Just like in the real world though, you need to be careful when playing with strangers.


CEOP’S top five things to look out for while online gaming:







If they ask for something in return, think about why they are doing this - are they a ‘real’ friend or trying to build your trust - be alert!


Remember, if they share a link with you it could be a computer virus or spyware, which tells the person your personal information without you knowing - be careful and don’t click on links from people you don’t know! Find out more


They may encourage you to tell them personal information such as where you live and what school you go to. This is part of their attempt to get your trust and will tell them how to find you in the real world.


Here are CEOP’s tips to playing online games safely:


Don’t be fooled into thinking that you know the people you meet online.


It’s ok for them to be ‘online gaming friends’, just don’t tell them everything about yourself, or chat to them anywhere else online, like on a social network or a messaging app.


Always choose a username that does not reveal any personal information such as your full name and hometown. That way if someone is making you feel uncomfortable you can block them and not worry that they can find you again.


Only play online games when you have updated antivirus software and firewall activated.


Read the terms and conditions of use within games to ensure there are no hidden charges! If you’re not sure, get an adult to help you.


Watch out for scams when buying or selling ‘property’ inside a computer game and for being scammed by other users.

Remember, this is very different to when your parents were growing up. So if you love gaming online, it might be hard for them to understand how important it is to you. Keep them involved by letting them know what games you’re playing and what you love about them.


Staying secure online

Your computer, tablet and phone hold lots of personal information about you - name, address, text messages, private videos and photos.


This information is valuable to you and to criminals.


There are lots of ways that people try to steal personal information and cause trouble online. Here are CEOP’s top five:



CEOP’s five ways to keep your information safe



Worried about viruses, hacking or identity theft?


Have you been hacked?


Most email and social networking websites let you report if someone has stolen your account. Visit their Help or Account information pages – again, get an adult to help you if you’re having trouble.


More information about online security


Make sure your parent or carer knows how to protect any computers, mobiles or tablets in the house. Get them to visit Get Safe Online:


Report it


CEOP helps young people who are being sexually abused or are worried that someone they’ve met is trying to abuse them.


If you’ve met someone online, or face to face and they are putting you under pressure to have sex or making you feel uncomfortable you should report to CEOP.


This might be someone:



If this is happening to you, or you’re worried that it might be, you can report this to CEOP:


Online safety advice with thanks to CEOP.