The popular game Fortnight has sadly become the latest in a long line of on-line games which are popular with our children to be hijacked by Paedophiles.  Reports and Warnings from The National Crime Agency (NCA) have been sent out to parents.  Parents are being urged to take IMMEDIATE ACTION and monitor their children and the social settings of this game very closely if they are one of the many children who are Fortnight Crazy.

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What is Fortnite

  • Fortnite is a game of survival where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island.
  • Each game, or ‘match’ as each competition is known, starts with 100 players.
  • The aim of the game is to be the last one standing. Users can form allegiances and play in small groups.
  • To enable this and the interactive experience, the game allows completely open communication between players.
  • Inspired by the Hunger Games novels and films, gamers search for weapons to help them survive.
  • Armed with quirky weapons and amusing dances, the game has swept across the gaming world, with children flocking to it.
  • While there is no exact figure on how many children play Fortnite, the game has so far pulled in an audience of over 3.4 million players.
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The Fortnite Games Drawbacks

  • It features voice and text chat. Voice can be switched off within the games settings.  Unfortunately the chat function cannot be turned off, so it’s important that parents and teachers understand that risks broader risks associated with the game and enable safe playing.
  • All users can chat freely to one another over the open access mic system.
  • Users are encouraged to spend real-world money on upgrades for their avatar in the game.
  • Complete strangers are able to contact kids during the game without parents knowledge.
As a parent, just like you I always strive to do anything within my power to keep my children as safe and happy as I possibly can.  As Parents we try to teach our Kids from a young age to stay away from any dangers they may encounter in day to day life. But what about the dangers we can’t see or are not even aware of? How do we protect our kids from something that no one has ever made us aware of or taught us about.  Such as the dangers our children are at risk of while on-line.

Kids today spend a large portion their time on-line doing a multitude of innocent and seemingly harmless everyday things.

Today’s kids on-line activities include:

  • Watching their favourite Movies
  • Watching a TV Show/shows they love
  • Listening to their favourite songs
  • Learning from educational resources such as apps/sites with Early learning actives
  • YouTube Videos of their favourite game being played or Un-boxing toys, games and arts and crafts  projects are always popular with young kids. Or if  they have a special interest in anything like animals, nature, musical instruments or transportation they will always find YouTube Videos of some description on their chosen topic with little effort.
  • On-line Gaming. Either on their own or in a Group/team with the many multilayer gaming options available growing immensely with something new popping up almost daily.
On-line Gamings social sharing/connecting options for multilayer gaming have in recent months been advanced to add more ways easier options to enable players made easily accessible and in a lot of cases with come pre-set to be activated by default rather than a setting we have to change or activate in order to use. As a lot of less game/tech savvy parents may assume.

Some Examples of the social sharing options available to your child.

  • Live Chat using Mics and earphones.
  • Live Web chat using web-cams.
  • Private messaging for any multi player games is almost expected now.
  • Recording their games and sharing on YouTube like the countless YouTube Gamers that they all love to watch on YouTube such as The popular Minecraft Games most well-known Youtuber Dan TDM (The Diamond Minecraft)
It has become so natural to see our Children on-line that we are lulled into a false sense of security. Assuming their innocence will help keep them out of mischief. As much as I wish that was true. It’s sadly not the case.

My Thoughts as Mum the with benefit of being more aware the of on-line world.

At times I wonder if being all too aware of the real on-line dangers is a blessing or a curse. The more I know about the risks and hacking possibilities that could be misused, resulting in our children’s on-line safety being compromised the more I worry.  Even if I put that knowledge aside I could never in good conscience advocate any on-line activity in which Kids are socialising unsupervised.  Would you even consider leaving your child in a room talking to strangers of all ages? I most certainly would not. Like most things in life, There will always be a small percentage of people who will use any and every opportunity to feed their sick perversions. I whole heartily believe that Children just do not belong on-line socializing unsupervised, just as the don’t belong in a real life situation that would have them socializing with Persons unknown.

The NCA shares some of the worried parents reports as a warning to other parents

Here are just a few of the allegations that the NCA have shared. I won’t force you to read them all as I know you get the idea and don’t need or want the horror stories.  I still find it sickening and hard to get some of the reports out of my head. If you would like to read any more of the reports you can find them here
  • A mother-of-two is now urging all parents to turn the audio off completely after she heard an unidentified man ask her son ‘Do you know what sex is?’
  • Another mother from Liverpool claimed her 12-year-old son was offered £50 ($71) to perform a sex act.
  • Others have said children as young as 11 and 12 openly discuss the fact that the game is ‘full of paedos’.
  • Multiple reports have been made from parents have reportedly overheard adults talking to their children over the game about explicit and inappropriate topics

In recent weeks, there have been allegations of hackers targeting accounts and racking up huge bills. The advice of the NCA to prevent paedophilic behaviour and protect their children on the app is to play the game with their children. ‘Play with them’  As someone who has never been into nor interested in gaming this idea seems a little daunting, but one of the best things that you can do is to engage with the gaming environment and begin to understand what makes Fortnite so attractive to young people, as well as giving yourself an idea of the reporting tools available within the game.’ We as parents have to make ourselves apart of our children’s on-line lives just as much as we are apart of their Real Life lives.  If playing an on-line game I really don’t want to play stops me from ever having to make a report like above then look out Gaming world I’m useless at games and doubt I’ll get much better lol.

In Conclusion

I know that there will be some of you thinking that none of this applies to your little tech genius Johnny Jr. It’s would be a mistake to assume that your child could never be fooled by someone . Even the most tech savvy and well experienced Adult can be fooled by fake or hacked profiles being used by someone pretending to be someone else.  So what chance does a child have? I implore you to humour me on this one. Don’t let you child become just another statistic by underestimating the undesirables of the on line community please. If you have any questions or need any more information on this don’t hesitate to contact us on our forum and we will be happy to assist you as much as possible. Here’s a very informative Video that will help explain this even more, please do make a point of viewing: