Following the recent leak revealing how the hyper-popular game Roblox moderates content, cybersecurity experts from antivirus provider Kaspersky have shared some information on cyber threats that can harm users, and especially children, in the space of online gambling and how these users can protect themselves.
The leaked documents provide insight into the targeting of children by predators on the platform and how the platform is trying to combat child grooming.
Additionally, an issue identified in the docs is that while Roblox’s systems analyze 100% of submitted abuse reports, only about 10% of them are actionable. This suggests that even on a gaming platform, where the content is moderate, there are still a lot of risks for children when playing online.
Roblox is an online gaming platform that allows users to create their own game simulations and virtual locations, where they can play themselves in different locations or invite other users. There are places that are both innocuous and very popular, where users can choose a pet and take care of it or go through an obstacle course with their characters. The genres of these games are nearly limitless, and the number of daily active users was 50 million at the end of 2021, most of whom were school-aged children.
However, in the game world, they can also encounter fraudsters, who can either be members of the selected playthrough or even be the perpetrators.
Threats from them can come both from within the game world – they often show aggression, deception or intimidation. For example, the Roblox game world theme could be used to create phishing resources to steal account username and password and withdraw funds from the victim; or under the guise of in-game currency (Robux), users may be offered to register with a real name or pay for a “lossless lottery”, in which participation will bring nothing other than ‘a money loss.
Here are 7 safety rules to help not only protect your data but also protect your little ones who play online:
- Do not share your real name, location, school, or any other personal information that could help attackers identify you in the real world. Certainly don’t share any financial details either. This is a good general rule for anytime you are online. Try to be as anonymous as possible.
- Try to chat only with users you know personally, but in online games it is impossible not to chat with others. Always keep the above rule in mind and try not to reveal too much personal information about yourself.
- You have the power when gaming and games are meant to be fun. You don’t have to chat with people you don’t want and there will usually be features in place to block or ignore others. Take advantage if the conversations start to not be fun. Keep in mind that you don’t know who’s on the other end of the conversation and you can never really trust them.
- Use a complex and unique password and always end the session at the end of the game, especially if you choose to log in from an unknown device. Remember to use two-factor authentication when it becomes available.
- Roblox in particular uses an internal content monitoring system and if you encounter unwanted ads, cheating, online grooming, different types of harassment or aggression towards you or other users, you should report it. to moderators.
- Critically evaluate the information you come across in the game world. Attackers can use a variety of techniques, including social engineering. For example, they may offer you a reward in the form of in-game currency (Robux) for detailed information about yourself. If someone is offering this to you, chances are they are cheating and the fraudster clearly has their “own interests”.
- On PC, take advantage of anti-virus solutions and parental control programs to make sure your child can use the Internet safely.
“Although Roblox has a content moderation system, you should not rely on it completely. This can be particularly dangerous for school children, who, due to their lack of experience, may not be aware of many cybersecurity rules,” comments Andrey Sidenko, Senior Web Content Analyst at Kaspersky.