How to Prevent Xbox Cyberbullying

Ideas for reducing the likelihood your child will be bullied on Xbox


Cyberbullying seems to be of growing concern for parents whose kids frequently play Xbox. While bullying incidents on Xbox are more infrequent than those that occur on social media, it can be nerve wracking for parents to walk in the room and witness name-calling from another Xbox user. It’s even more upsetting if the bullies are strangers. But there are several things every parent can do to prevent bullying on the Xbox.

How to Avoid Xbox Bullying

As a parent, Xbox bullying prevention begins with you. Be sure you are aware of what your kids are playing and doing on the Xbox. For instance, know what games they are playing, what features they are using and who they are playing with.

When possible, make sure you adhere to the game’s rating system. For instance, if the game is rated “M” for mature players and your child is only 10, that game may not be the best option for him. Remember, there is a reason the game is rated “M.”

Remember too, that it is easy to misjudge your child’s maturity. As a result, allowing your kids to play games that are rated above their age level can put them at a greater risk for bullying. It also can expose them to offensive and rude language as well as images and activities that may be disturbing for them. Still, adhering to age requirements should not be your only action. Even if your children are playing games within their age rating, they can still be exposed to cyberbullying.

Be sure you know what your kids are playing and how the games operate. Sit with your kids and watch them play. Or better yet, play with them. If you would prefer not to play, talk with your child about the games he plays. Show an interest in what he is doing, the success he is experiencing and whom he is playing with.

Remember, supervising his playtime on the Xbox is important. Never assume that just because he is in your house that he is safe from bullying.

You also can use the system’s parental controls to restrict access to games and the Xbox Live feature. It allows you to determine whether or not your child can play high-rated or unrated content, as well as restrict access to Xbox Live.

Additionally, you can limit contacts within Xbox Live to friends only. This keeps strangers from being able to contact your children. And if your child’s friend is a bully, you can block that child from contacting your kids again.

How to Deal with Xbox Bullies

Be sure your kids know that if they encounter bullying of any kind, they should not respond. Remind them that engaging a bully only makes the bullying escalate – and a response is exactly what the bully is hoping for. Instead, they should report the bullying to you as soon as possible.

Also, show your child how to mute another player so that he does not have to listen to the rest of the bully’s remarks.

You also can block a bully as well as file a complaint against him for bullying. According to Xbox’s abuse-prevention site, you can report a bully by opening the player’s profile and selecting “file complaint.” Then, choose the reason for your complaint.

Xbox gives you several options for filing a complaint. For instance, if the player has used rude, hateful, vulgar, harassing or threatening language in voice or text communications, choose that option. There is a separate option for video communications. Select that option if the player used video to engage in bullying.

You also can report profiles that are offensive as well as players who tampered with a game, a console or the feedback system. Meanwhile, if you find an inappropriate picture taken using a Kinect sensor, you can click the “report abuse” link on


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