How To Set Up Steam Parental Controls

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Steam is a free gaming platform available for download onto your computer. With it, you can buy and download video games — and there are millions to choose from. While many of them are appropriate for children, there are plenty that aren’t. Fortunately, parents can take control and decide what gets downloaded.

Any time a person sets up a new Steam account, that account automatically gets full access to everything: the Steam store, all purchased games, and the Steam Community discussions. To prevent children from purchasing or accessing inappropriate content on the Steam platform, there is a set of parental controls available known as Family View.

With Family View, access to the Steam Store, Library, Community, Friends content, and other features may be granted by the entry of a secret PIN.

How to Set Parental Controls on Steam

  1. Login to Steam with the account your child will use.
  2. Click the Steam menu in the top, and open Settings.
  3. Go to the Family tab that opens on the left side of the window.
  4. Click Family View to start the wizard.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions through each step of the wizard. This allows you to choose the content and features you want the child to be able to access with their account.
  6. Select and confirm your new PIN.

It’s worth noting that even though there is a parental control system in place, Steam still leaves vetting the games and checking the ratings to parents. Games are rated by age, but may not provide enough detail about what is actually in the game for parents to make informed decisions. This means parents will have to rely on third-party sources such as Common Sense Media to learn more about titles before making decisions about games and restrictions.

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In addition to setting parental controls on your child's device, the next safety layer parents and caregivers should strongly consider is a monitoring solution to assess the content their kids encounter (and produce) across text messages, social media, email, and more.

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