You, your games and your friends

Advice for young people

Learn more about how to play and connect safely while gaming online.

A child gaming with a console and headset

You, your games and your friends

What you will learn

What to think about

Choosing who I chat with

Things to look for when online gaming

Did you know that online gaming is one of the largest entertainment industries in the world?
If you are a gamer, here are some things to look out for when online gaming.

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What to look out for when strangers chat to you in online games

  • They may ask you to chat with them on another social media app which is private.
  • They might ask you to keep your friendship a secret from your family.
  • They could be adults pretending to be teenagers and may do harm.

If any of these happen, be alert! Tell a trusted adult if it continues.

How can you tell if something is not right?

There 4 things to look out for:

They might try to get your trust and ‘make friends’ with you by making you believe they like the same things as you.

What should I do?

Tell a trusted adult you have made a new friend and try to check that they are who they say they are – like looking for them on other social media.


Choose a game that suits you, your age and what you like. Some games are not OK.

What should I do?

Play games that suitable for your age as there are some games with inappropriate content that might upset you.


They might offer to tell you ‘cheats’ to help you out with a game and ask for something back in return.

What should I do?

You should talk to an adult you trust right away – always ask yourself are they a ‘real’ friend?


They may ask you to tell them where you live or what school you go to.

What should I do?

Tell a trusted adult and do not give this information, as it tells people where you are and where you go to school which you do not want.

A big NO

  • Do not agree to meet up with anyone you have met in a game.
  • Avoid sharing inappropriate photos with anyone you have met in a game.
  • Do not send anyone money or give out personal banking information.

Gaming – how long is OK?

Some gaming is positive, too much is not. We know this from research with British young people.
One hour or less – players were happier, got on better with their friends, were more likely to help people in difficulty, and had fewer emotional issues.

Three hours or more – players were unhappier and did not have such good friendships.

  • Try and balance the time you spend playing video games with other things that you enjoy and can learn from.
  • Try not to snack on unhealthy foods while you are gaming.
  • You need to be active, why not try going for a walk or doing a sport?

Spending money while gaming

It is so easy to feel you need to buy Loot boxes or the next thing that is offered to you in a game.

Please avoid buying anything in a game without asking the person who has to pay for it, such as your parent or carer.

Tips when gaming


Choose a username that does not tell anyone your personal information.Do not use your full name or school


Check you understand how much the game costs.


Try not to click on a link from someone you do not know.

Because it could contain a computer virus or spyware which tells the person your personal information without you knowing.

Getting help

If you are worried about the way any player has been talking to you, tell a trusted adult or Childline on 0800 1111 or visit

Together you can let CEOP know and they will know what to do. They have trusted staff who can protect children and teenagers.