Kids need protection while gaming

Sex predators are not just meeting kids online these days.

It's not on the public radar, but investigators are warning that new interactive gaming systems like Xbox and the Wii are the new frontier for sex predators.

Predators are not targeting one specific game, kids have been lured into through everything from dungeons and dragons to good old fashioned chess and checkers.

The systems link up to the net now and allow predators to disguise themselves as teenagers, change their identities and connect with children in real-time through games.

But there are some things you can do to protect your children on interactive gaming systems and they're tips you should already be doing to protect kids on the internet

First let your child know there are dangers out there. You don't have to yank the gaming system away - but teach your child about the dangers of interacting with players they do not know.

Put the gaming system in an open area of the house - not in a child's bedroom.

Don't let the child wear the microphone and earpiece. Parents should be able to hear all communication the child is having on the gaming system.

Set the blocking control system and go back and check and re-check them in case your child may have disabled the settings.

Know who is on your child's buddy list.

If your child comes to you after being approached inappropriately, do not punish the child for coming forward, use it as a teaching tool.

You might want to consider changing your child's "gamer tag" or name on the gaming system.

There are step-by-step tutorials which can help you through setting up parental controls on gaming systems.

Log onto:

Xbox Parental control information:

Other sites: