Antivirus Guide

Is Roblox Safe?

This massive online gaming platform hides dangers every parent should know about.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jun 14, 2022
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Jun 14, 2022

Contrary to what many think, Roblox is actually not a game itself, but rather a social platform where users can play mini-games (called “experiences”) created by other members. This social aspect is exactly why many are concerned about Roblox’s safety. There have been reports of predators, scammers, even identity thieves on the platform looking to prey on unsuspecting users (most of which are minors). Today, however, we’re taking an objective look at Roblox to see how safe — or unsafe — it really is.

Is Roblox Safe?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not that simple as there are two sides to the Roblox coin.

One side is a healthy, content-driven community of people who just want to escape reality and enter a digital world of fun. There are tons of amusing user-generated experiences on the platform, and for the most part, curators are staying on top of things to make sure everything adheres to Roblox’s community standards.1 Moderators are also monitoring public chat rooms, and they don’t shy away from handing punishment — including bans and account deletion — to community standard violators.

The other, darker side is made up of people who are on Roblox to take advantage of other users, particularly the young. These are the scammers, predators, hate-inciters, blackmailers, spammers, and other bad actors lurking on the platform. To its credit, Roblox isn’t just sitting idly by. As stated, it enforces strict community guidelines and follows through with punishments for violators. However, the platform is yet to strike a balance between being a safe space and being welcoming. It’s easy to create a Roblox account, so even if violators get their accounts removed, they can simply create a new one and jump right back in.

FYI: To create a Roblox account, all you’ll need to provide is a username, password, and your birthday. Everything else is optional.

Overall, we’d say that Roblox itself is safe, but just like any social-media platform, it is the ill-intending users you should be careful of. What exactly do they stand to gain from infiltrating the Roblox community? That’s what we’ll discuss next.

Bad Actors: What Are They After?

Roblox is a huge community with over 150 million active users on any given month (as of 2020.2) As such, we’re not surprised to see cybercriminals flock to the platform to try to make it their hunting ground. In order to stay safe, we need to know exactly what they’re after.

For financial gain

Within Roblox is a digital currency called Robux that players can use to purchase items, customize their avatars, or gain access to features or experiences. Robux costs real money to buy, and so Robux itself and anything you buy with it can be sold on “black-market forums” for real cash. Players can also trade items with each other directly on the platform.

Scammers on the internet will target anything with cash value, including Robux and Roblox items. Below are a few scams to watch out for.

  • Trade scams: Scammers will propose a trade — either an item for another item or an item for Robux — but won’t hold up their end of the bargain. Once the traded item or Robux is in their possession, they’ll run off and make quick cash selling the stolen goods.
  • Account takeover: They’ll also use phishing attacks or hacking to gain access to a victim’s account. Once they’re in, they’ll drain the account of any item of value by transferring it to their own account.
  • JavaScript attacks: More tech-savvy scammers might convince their victims to open their browser’s console and ask them to paste in a script that will supposedly give them free Robux. In truth, scammers will use the script to access their victims’ accounts and steal Robux or items.
  • Cookie scraping: As another advanced way of hacking, scammers will use malicious websites to scrape a victim’s browser history for cookies. They’ll use these cookies, which could contain Roblox account authentication, to access the victim’s account without needing a password.

Expert Advice: Although some scams utilize high-tech techniques, they all start with a little social interaction. Be smart when interacting with other users, and don’t entertain those that offer things that are too good to be true, like free Robux. To guard yourself from advanced types of scams, it also helps to have antivirus software on your device. Most antivirus software, like the Norton AntiVirus Plus package, can detect and block malicious websites.

Norton Parental Controls
Norton Parental Controls

To steal identities

Scammers use stolen personal information to commit different kinds of fraud, so identity theft on Roblox covers a wide scope. Generally, posting or asking for others’ personally identifiable information is not allowed on Roblox’s chat rooms, but the platform has an email-like feature where other players can contact you directly and privately. This feature is much less regulated, and others use it to contact their targets to obtain personal information.

Kids are the most common targets of identity theft on Roblox, since they are much easier to convince to give up information and are typically less aware of the dangers of identity theft. Some thieves are more direct; they’ll ask for personal information, like, “What’s your name?” or “Where do you live?” or “When is your birthday?” To a child, these questions might seem innocent, but identity thieves can begin their nefarious work with those pieces of information.

Others, however, are more cunning. They’ll use tricks and social engineering to get their victims’ to talk. They’ll use a variety of tactics, including: phishing websites, online surveys that promise Robux as rewards for completion, fake livestreams that ask viewers to drop their names or email addresses to receive fake rewards, and other indirect means.

Pro Tip: As parents, we can protect our kids from identity theft using identity theft protection services. We’ve covered the best identity protection services for families here, which include Aura. A family plan from Aura covers up to five individuals per family, both children and adults, and provides up to $1 million insurance coverage for identity theft victims.

Aura WiFi Security
Aura WiFi Security

To prey on minors

More than half (53 percent) of Roblox users are below the age of 133, making Roblox a platform dominated by younger users. That, unfortunately, also makes Roblox a prime target for child predators.

Roblox recognizes the dangers of having predators on the platform, and it even has certain measures in place to prevent online grooming. These measures include:

  • Removing the option to share videos and photos from any of Roblox’s social functions.
  • Censoring URLs from messaging boards, except for links to the Roblox website, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch.
  • Banning experiences that depict dating and romantic content, including those that depict animations of kissing, hand-holding, weddings, and dates.
  • Having a zero-tolerance policy for child endangerment, including the sexualization of children and solicitation of sexual materials.

Still, predators find ways to strike up conversations with minors on Roblox, and then take the conversation to less restrictive social apps.

Should You Let Your Kids Be on Roblox?

Given the dangers they might encounter on Roblox, should you still let your kids use the platform? The truth is, that’s a very personal decision that only you, as the parent, can make. Some elect not to let their kids use Roblox until they are mature enough to recognize the dangers. Others opt to let their kids on the platform but with strict monitoring and guidance. Whichever you choose, as long as you make the decision with your children’s best interest in mind, you’re making the right move.

How to protect your kids

If you do decide to let your kids on Roblox, here are a few safety tips to help them stay safe.

  • Set up the accounts yourself: As an adult, you’re better equipped to understand what’s safe and what’s not, so setting up their accounts yourself is better than letting your kids do it on their own. Make sure to check the privacy settings and apply beneficial changes before handing their accounts over.
  • Connect the accounts to your email: Doing so will help you monitor your kids’ accounts down the road. You’ll get notifications about changes to settings, password changes, and even account activities like messages and item trades. Linking your email also makes it easier to recover hacked accounts, just in case.
  • Change the contact settings to “friends”: Anyone can send messages to anyone on Roblox, but you can prevent strangers from contacting your kids’ accounts. Just go to account settings, then privacy, and then head to the contact settings. Select “friends” or “no one.” With the former, only friends of your kids can send messages to them, while with the latter, absolutely no one can make contact.
  • Enable two-step verification: Two-step verification makes your children’s accounts almost impossible to hack. You’ll get an email whenever someone tries to log in, and only with your approval will they be allowed to gain access.
  • Limit your kids’ spending: Your kids might be enticed to purchase Robux to buy the latest avatar skins or upgrades, but these things might actually put a target on their backs. For the sake of their safety and your financial well-being, it’s important to set a spending limit. It’s also better if you buy Robux for them instead of letting them access your payment method freely.
  • Encourage them to play only when you’re around: Instead of letting your kids play Roblox in their rooms, have them play where you can monitor them. This discourages unseemly behavior on the platform, while giving you the chance to detect possible dangers.
  • Guide your kids: Of course, the best protection you can provide is your guidance. Teach your kids about identity theft, scams, cyberbullying, and healthy digital safety practices while they’re young. Doing so not only helps them stay safe online now, but it helps them develop a proper mindset towards cybersecurity as they grow up.

You can find more tips and information in our Parents Guide to Protecting Their Kids Online.

All About Privacy: Does Roblox Pose Privacy Risks?

How about from a privacy perspective? Is Roblox trustworthy? Let’s find out!

What information does Roblox collect?

Roblox is one of the more lenient platforms when it comes to data collection, and that’s a good thing from a privacy standpoint. As stated above, Roblox doesn’t require users to provide any personal information besides their date of birth when creating an account. Linking an email address is only optional, as well.

When using certain features, however, Roblox might collect — or at the very least, monitor — certain types of data that you might not be okay with. For example, when you chat with others, Roblox’s system will monitor what you say and write to check that it doesn’t contain inappropriate content or content that violates Roblox’s community standards. If you’re not okay with that, you can turn off the chat feature.

Roblox also collects payment information, including names, card details, and billing addresses from users who buy Robux. Again, you can opt not to buy or transact with Roblox if you don’t want those pieces of information to be collected.

Does Roblox sell customer data?

The short answer is “no.” Roblox doesn’t sell customer data to third parties, but it does share information with service providers and other business partners. Third-party creators and developers on Roblox also gain access to your username, game metrics, and location and user ID when you access the experiences they created.

Privacy for children

In addition to Roblox’s general privacy policy, it has a special clause for children under the age of 13. Accounts for kids 13 and younger are automatically set to a restrictive mode, where certain features are not available. Also, chats are more extensively monitored for inappropriate behavior.

The Bottom Line for Roblox

Ultimately, Roblox is a safe gaming platform. It uses technology and human moderators to weed out the bad guys who make the platform less safe; plus, it has strict community guidelines. That being said, as with most of the popular social-media sites, there are dangers that you should watch out for. If you enter Roblox, or if you let your kids use it, adopting a healthy attitude towards digital safety goes a long way. With your guidance, and with the help of cybersecurity experts like ourselves, you can ensure your kids’ safety on the platform. Feel free to browse our resources, particularly our cybersecurity tips, for more information.

FAQs on Roblox

To cap off this guide, here are some frequently asked questions about Roblox.

  • Can I convert Robux to real cash?

    Yes, but only if you’re a developer enrolled in the Developer Exchange Program. Regular users can’t “cash out” Robux. Although there are underground black market sites that offer to exchange Robux for real-world money, they are against Roblox’s terms of use and they are risky, as scammers frequent those sites.

  • What is Roblox’s age rating?

    In the United States, Roblox is rated E10+ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, meaning it’s appropriate for everyone aged 10 and up. In the United Kingdom, it’s rated PEGI 7, which means it depicts scenes and sounds that can be frightening to younger users, such as fantasy violence.

  • Is Roblox free to play?

    Yes, Roblox is free to play. However, some experiences and mini-games require Robux to access, and Robux costs real-world money. Currently, 400 Robux costs $4.99.

  • Can I get Robux for free?

    No, it’s not possible to obtain Robux for free. Users that offer free Robux are most likely scammers and it’s best not to entertain them.

  • Is Roblox a violent video game?

    Roblox is an online platform with “experiences,” which are mini-games created by other users. Some experiences depict fantasy violence, including the use of weapons and guns. However, extreme gore, realistic violence, and content that may cause physical or psychological damage are banned from the platform.

Citations
  1. Roblox. (2022). Roblox Community Standards.
    en.help.roblox.com/hc/en-us/articles/203313410-Roblox-Community-Standards

  2. Business of Apps. (2022). Roblox Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022).
    businessofapps.com/data/roblox-statistics/

  3. United States Securities Exchange. (2020). Form S-1 Registration Statement.
    sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1315098/000119312520298230/d87104ds1.htm