Roblox Guide for Parents

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August 2, 2022

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Unlock this lesson to learn what you can do to keep kids safe on Roblox

This Roblox guide will help parents learn: 

  • Why Roblox is so popular with students
  • Why parents should care about Roblox
  • Tips to keep student safe while using Roblox

Learn why parents and educators should care about Roblox

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Pros and Cons of Video Games for Families (2022) preview

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
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This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

Roblox is one of the largest user-generated online gaming platforms for smartphones and gaming consoles. Users can create games or play games designed by others. Players can either play with their friends or join an ongoing game with strangers.

In this guide, you will learn 1) what is Roblox and where it is available, 2) some of the dangers kids can encounter while playing Roblox, and 3) what parents can do to keep their kids safer while playing Roblox.

Overview video for parents

In this video parents and educators will learn

(Click on the three lines or a blue dot in the progress bar to skip to a chapter)

  1. What are Roblox games?
  2. Top concerns about Roblox.
  3. What can parents do to keep kids safe on Roblox?

Roblox Safety Settings Video

In this video parents and educators will learn

(Click on the three lines or a blue dot in the progress bar to skip to a chapter)

  1. Roblox currency and friends
  2. Important Roblox account settings
  3. Ways to communicate on Roblox
  4. How to check Roblox privacy settings
  5. How to change notifications
  6. How to actually play Roblox
  7. Tips to play Roblox safely as a family

What is Roblox?

Roblox Login screenshot
Sample Roblox Log in screen
  • Roblox is a user-generated online gaming platform
  • There are two modes: playing (multiplayer environment) or creating games
  • Users can create/develop games on Roblox Studio and upload games to the site for others to play
  • After joining a new game players can add friends and chat in the chat box
  • Each player uses a customized avatar and Roblox offers some free customizable options, however, most virtual items cost “Robux” (in-app purchase)
  • Pet Simulator Adopt Me! is one of the most popular games on Roblox with more than 27 billion visits by Roblox players and Tower of Hell is the 2nd most popular game with over 16 billion visits (Source: Statista)
  • Roblox has more than 54 million daily active users in their online global community (Source: Statista)

Where is Roblox available?

How to signup for Roblox

Roblox sing up screen
  • New users must give their date of birth, username, and a password when signing up (providing gender is optional)
  • Users under the age of 13 have their posts and chats filtered by Roblox to prevent inappropriate language and sharing of personal information 
  • Roblox encourages users NOT to use their real name when setting up an account
  • Users can add their phone number, email, and social media network links, but they are not required
  • Players can adjust their settings for who can send them messages, invite them to games, and view their inventory  in settings
  • Please note: SmartSocial recommends setting everything to “Friends” or “No One”
  • Roblox has monthly membership options that come with various amounts of Robux and exclusive benefits

Roblox in the news

Child predators

"He kept asking her for hot videos and I mean, she would send just like an innocent picture of herself or like an innocent video,” said Kaitlin Clarke, the girl’s mother. “But you could tell like he kept saying more that wasn’t what he was looking for." - WECT 6

Inappropriate content

The 17 year old was describing accidentally joining a virtual strip club on Roblox. The digital spaces, also called "condo games" or "scented games," are user-created X-rated digital experiences where players can remove their avatars' clothes, make them simulate lewd acts, and even accessorize them with adult toys. - Today

It’s not very hard to find a server of people simulating inappropriate things from drug deals to sexual acts - The Washington Post

Some students can make money on Roblox

Roblox has turned its tween audience into an army of fresh-faced entrepreneurs… ‘It’s almost as if we’re running American Idol for up-and-coming game developers,’ [said Roblox’s cofounder.]… The company also helps budding coders up their game. - Forbes

Why do students want a Roblox account?

  • Roblox offers access to a vast variety of games which means that most students can find something they are interested in to play
  • Roblox has made it very easy to move from one game to another within the online platform
  • Some students enjoy the opportunity to create their own games and share them with others in the community
  • Students can interact with and play online games with their friends
  • Many kids love to discuss their favorite Roblox games even when they are not playing
  • It's fun to customize their own personal avatar used within the Roblox community

Why should parents care?

  • Despite having parental controls, users interact with strangers and kids are still susceptible to being targeted by predators through live chats
  • Since Roblox creators can upload their own games, inappropriate and graphic content can appear in any game
  • Players over 13 can opt-in to a voice chat feature to communicate with other players in the game
  • Cyberbullying is prevalent, especially the type that shames players for not spending money (Robux) on their avatar
  • Students may find that the more money they spend on the game the more they want to buy
  • There are third-party sites running scams to attempt to steal personal information by offering free or cheap Robux or upgrades 
  • Popular brands and retailers are placing ads in Roblox disguised as games (Source: ModernRetail.co)
  • Since there isn't a definite end to Roblox, it may be difficult for some players to limit their game time, increasing the risk to develop screen time addiction (Learn more about the pros and cons of video games)

What can parents do?

Purchasing Robux
  • Sit down and play Roblox with your students for at least 15 minutes a week to understand how they play the game and build a connection with your kids by having fun together
  • Set up parental controls within Roblox
  • Discuss safety concerns with them about the chat features and who it is appropriate to talk with and what topics are never appropriate to talk to strangers about
  • Encourage your kids to only play in one Roblox account that you play together
  • Encourage your student to always talk with you, or a trusted adult, if a situation makes them uncomfortable
  • Discuss with your students scams and that the only way to buy or receive Robux, etc. is through the official Roblox app or website and what to do if they get an offer for “free” upgrades, even if it’s things they want
  • Consider using a visual timer, like an egg timer or phone timer, to track how much time your student has left to play
Screen Shot of Roblox Settings add pin
Image from Roblox parental controls

Important Privacy Settings

  • Restrict in-game communication methods and filtering options
  • Limit the types of games your student can play
  • Set monthly spending limits

Parental Controls

  • Roblox allows parents to set up parental controls to limit certain features on their students' accounts
  • Tap on the gear icon and then go to settings
Image from Roblox parental controls
  • Under Account Info, tap "Add Parent's Email" and follow the steps to verify
  • Tap "Parental Controls" and set up a "Parent PIN" to ensure your student cannot adjust the account settings without parent approval
  • Turn on "Account Restrictions" which will limit the types of games your student can access
  • Tap "Privacy" and adjust the "Communication" and "Other settings" to "No One" or "Friends"

Conclusion

While Roblox is a fun and creative way to play games with friends, parents should have an open conversation with their students about the dangers of online games like Roblox and what they should do if something inappropriate happens.

Additional Resources

Learn more about video games

Pros and Cons of Video Games for Families (2022)

Tips From a 15-Year Old About Roblox, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, & Screen Time

Watch the Roblox and Minecraft Parent Safety Discussion with Josh & Beth talking about the dangers of Roblox and Minecraft for families


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