According to ID Crypt Global, at least 25% of young children who play video games online do so with strangers. Highlights of their analysis include:
- Smartphones are used by 17% of 3–4-year-olds, 20% of 5–7-year-olds and 53% of 8–11-year-olds
- 49% of 3–17-year-olds are using their smartphones to play online games—now the second most popular way to play, behind traditional game consoles (59%)
- 18% of 3–4-year-olds, 38% of 5–7-year-olds, and 69% of 8–11-year-olds are currently playing online games
- 25% of kids 8-17 are playing games online with strangers, with 22%chatting to strangers while playing
- Online games often require debit or credit card data. If kids can access their parents’ stored card details, they can pay for these purchases without their parent’s immediate knowledge
- The use of digital identities can be misused when stored in a centralized public infrastructure, innocently by children, or intentionally by criminals.
When looking at the types of games played, 47% of boys and 46% of girls aged 3-17 are accessing creative and building games, including Minecraft. Action and adventure games are Played by 45% of boys and 40% of girls. Of great concern, 38% of boys and 28% of girls are using “shooter” games.
Lauren Wilson-Smith, CEO and ID Crypt Global founder, states, “It’s worrying that the online gaming space enables kids to talk freely with strangers in environments that are often unmonitored. With the best will in the world, parents cannot monitor every moment of their child’s gaming, so it raises the question of what gaming companies can do to mitigate this risk.”
Wilson-Smith also commented that financial security is another significant risk. There’s a danger of hackers stealing stored payment with PKIs being centralized, stored, and managed by a single third party. The recommendation is to remove the need for one-third of the party to be entrusted with the data, instead using blockchain technology to ensure tighter security.