Online gaming is massive. Undoubtedly, it is one of the growing industries, and with time, we will see more innovations. The role of tech in online gaming is significant. While it’s making gaming convenient, there’s also the risk of vulnerability for players.
Online gaming saves time, makes games accessible, and provides a user-friendly experience. However, it’s riskier than you think. Hackers or those who want to steal your information are always on the lookout for prey.
The unsuspecting gamers are their favorites. Hackers use phishing and other ways to inject malware or get access to your computer. They can steal your identity, financial information, and personal data. Therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Common security threats of playing online games
Viruses and malware: They are the most common security threat. The possibility of encountering a computer virus is high, as it’s easy to transfer. Unprotected systems receive such viruses through attachments.
When you try to install any game from an untrusted source, the likelihood of installing a virus increases. It’s a common tactic for hackers and scammers to get into your system.
Ransomware: It’s a type of virus that takes your information hostage. Online games are the best place for these viruses because gamers save financial and personal information in games. Usually, the stolen information can only be retrieved when a victim pays a ransom.
Phishing and stolen identities: It’s also common within the gaming community to see phishing attacks as the go-to tactic for cybercriminals. It’s typical for a malicious individual to pose as a trusted website user and ask for personal information online. If the information is obtained, the victim will be extorted or their identity may be used for fraud.
Spyware: Even gamers who deal with unreliable online gaming operations could be targeted by spyware schemes without realizing it. Spyware monitors users for their online activities without their knowledge. A breach of privacy can occur if such information is recorded, then sold to third parties.
What measures can you take to keep yourself safe?
It’s the basic security measure you can take. Enabling a firewall on your computer will keep your computer system uncompromised.
2. Secure your information
Playing online games on consoles and other networks is much more feasible. But that means it stores your financial and personal information, which you don’t want to leak. Here are a few steps you can take:
- You can secure your account with a strong password
- You can enable two-factor authentication
- You must use a unique password for every device or platform you use
- Keep your login details with you and never share them with anyone
- Always log out from your account
Bonus tip: use gift vouchers to buy games online instead of using your personal credit/debit card.
An ideal way to mask sensitive information is to use virtual private networks (VPNs). A VPN can mask your location, IP address, history, activity, and digital devices, making it an effective defense against identity theft.
4. Keep yourself private
It is dangerous out there, and you must not trust easily. When you play games online and interact with other members, it’s important to keep your identity private. Oversharing or revealing information can make you vulnerable to phishing, abuse, or identity theft.
5. Shop with trusted online stores
This measure is extremely vital. When you buy games online or play online casino games, make sure it’s verified and trusted. This will reduce the risk of falling prey to hackers and scammers.
- For Android users, only use Google Play to download games.
- For iPhone users, the App Store is the only place you must trust.
- Windows and Mac users must only use their respective markets or trusted websites for downloading games.
- Console gamers should buy or download games from their manufacturers or their recommended stores.
However, there are other trusted sources you can use for downloading games. But make sure to do some research and check online reviews before buying anything from them.
6. Avoid suspected downloads
Winning is everything in gaming. Many people want to win easily, so they try to cheat by using cheat codes or downloading dodgy files. Beware of such files as they can be corrupted and contain malware or spyware.
7. Public Wi-Fi is not safe
It’s always tempting to use free Internet and play games on it or use it for sharing messages. Public Wi-Fi is unsafe from every angle. It could be a hotspot set up to spy on you and intercept your information. So, you might be sharing all your information if you connect to such internet connections.
8. Stay up to date
Whether you’re playing games on mobile phones, consoles, or computer systems, keeping your devices updated is essential. Manufacturers and game developers frequently provide security updates to fix vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit for stealing your data.