Protecting your children when they play video games

With your kids out of school for the summer, they may be spending more time at home playing video games.

Experts say predators and scammers could be trying to take advantage of that.

Most gaming systems connect to the internet. And while that makes it easy to watch movies or download new games, it can also make it easy for your kids to find chat rooms full of strangers from around the world.

Some games even have a video chat option.

We talked with Ryan Revard with Headshots Bar and Grill.

He says the best way to protect your kids is by understanding which games they're playing and know if those games connect to the internet.

Revard tells us most video games have parental controls, and even if the game your child is playing is intended for children, you should be aware of what they're doing while they're playing that game.

"You should just consider all chat rooms an adult chat room, that's a good rule of thumb," Revard said. "So you've had some games come up where they're designed for children - those games are the ones that are going to become unsafe because if you are worried about people on the internet, they're going to go to the ones where it's all children, not where it's everyone and you're going to notice the creepy person out of the group.

Revard says to check the parental controls for each game and each system to lock down any features you don't want your kids accessing.

Scammers could also be working to get your money through those online video games.

Many video games sell add-ons for the games that are legitimate. But, scammers are online hoping to get a hold of your credit card information.

You may be able to spot a scam pretty quickly, but your kids may not.

Revard says, just because your kids are inside your house, it doesn't mean they're safe.

He says you should pay close attention to them while they're playing video games. He also suggests talking to your kids about what a scam is. And, don't let them take your credit card information without permission.

Revard says the best way to be protected is to get to know the video game yourself.

"Kids are going to be curious and they're going to find social outlets especially at that 9-14 age range where there's a lot of development," Revard said. "They're going to try to find other people to communicate with and right now a lot of platforms now are definitely more safe than they were before but you still want to pay attention to what your kids are doing."

Revard says many parents give their kids their cell phone so they can play games. Before you do, he suggests taking a look at all of the apps that have your credit card information stored - apps like Amazon, bill pay apps and the app store itself - and make sure you password protect them all before handing over your phone.