Based in the Netherlands, Surfshark recently looked into what parents are most concerned about when their child plays online games. After analyzing the data of numerous surveys and its own research, the company came to the conclusion that every second parent is primarily concerned about the security of their children’s personal data on the Internet. Some of the most popular games for kids ages 6-12 – Pokemon GO, Candy Crush, and Call of Duty: Mobile – collect player data, although some claim that the information collected is safe. These titles have been rated as some of the most privacy-infringing mobile games currently available on app stores.
Along with data collection, parents are also concerned about the use of microtransactions in mobile games, with one in four stating that their child unknowingly spends large sums of money on the game. Minecraft: Pocket Edition is the most popular age group mobile game that Surfshark has researched and is known to have microtransactions allowing players to purchase emblems, skins and more. Other games such as Angry Birds and Call of Duty: Mobile also include in-app purchases. Parents are particularly concerned that Call of Duty has limited-time purchases that encourage users to purchase items for fear of missing out.
To combat these worries, parents are encouraged to establish a trusting relationship with their child so that they know what games they are playing. There are also cybersecurity tools that can be used to prevent misappropriation of data. Despite all these concerns, Surfshark’s research is not intended to create a negative attitude towards mobile games. There are so many great mobile games out there these days, so it’s almost impossible to completely wean a child off games.