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Online Gaming Security Tips You Should Know

Online gaming has become a social lifeline as the gaming community grows. Indeed, in many parts of the world, people opt for online gaming even over physical alternatives. While you can attribute the increasing popularity of online gaming to the current global pandemic, you cannot deny that online gaming truly gives players an escape from the real world.

Gaming, in general, offers numerous mental health benefits. However, as the online gaming community grows, so do the online security and safety risks. Any online activity exposes you to various levels of cyber criminal activities, including identity theft and fraud, as your information becomes easily accessible. So, how can you enjoy your online games without worrying about any security issues? Here are some online gaming security tips to keep yourself safe.

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  • Know the risks

First of all, you must be fully aware of the potential security risks of playing online games. This way, you know exactly what you’re protecting yourself from. Some of the common security issues of online gaming include the following:

  • Viruses: You’ll be surprised by how many people have lost their data and computers at some point because they downloaded or played online games and invited malicious malware and viruses onto their devices.
  • Phishing activities: Many so-called online games are nothing but baits used by hackers to phish for the personal information of unsuspecting victims. These hackers design what looks like simple online games requiring players to fill in their personal information. Once you provide such information, it becomes available and could be used to siphon money from your online bank accounts.
  • Identity and data theft: Identity theft is one of the dreaded security risks of online gaming. Most hackers aim at stealing the personal info of online players and use such information for a host of criminal activities, including framing the player for a crime.

 

  • Do not reveal personal information

Statistics show that there was a 30% increase in online gaming traffic by the second quarter of 2020, which means there is an increasing amount of online data hackers have access to. It is best not to reveal any personal information to keep yourself safe.

Although many online games require you to fill in some information about yourself to create a profile, most of these platforms do not ask for anything beyond name, age, gender, and probably location. While this seems harmless, such information can be more than enough for hackers to use. Therefore, you should consider creating an online persona to ensure your safety. You can do this by using a made-up name, age, and date of birth. It may sound like you’re being misleading, but it’s for the best.

There is also no need to worry, as creating an online persona would not affect your gaming experience in any way. You might also want to avoid giving your contact numbers. However, online gaming platforms that ask for more detailed information like bank details are an absolute no-no. You should avoid them entirely.

  • Use legitimate software and keep it updated

Regardless of what device you prefer for online gaming, it’s best to keep it configured to automatically update your operating system, games, and applications. These updates usually come with enhanced security features to resolve various security issues. If you’re playing an online game on a device that no longer receives security updates and support on its operating system, you’re already putting yourself at risk.

Also, it’s safer to stick to legitimate online gaming platforms or apps from reputable companies with a track record you can trust. The best way to do this is to download your games only from a trusted app store. If you need to purchase your game physically, you should do so at a trusted physical store or retailer. Avoid using illegal applications with unverified sources to download your games, as they might bypass your device’s security and gain unauthorized access to personal information.

  • Antivirus

Sometimes, it’s almost impossible to avoid downloading certain games from unauthorized sources. Not every game outside your device’s online store is automatically dangerous, but you can never be too sure. To prevent any online security risk, always ensure that you have an antivirus solution. Choose a trusted antivirus package that will protect your login information from hackers and prevent any form of a data breach.

  • Avoid playing on public Wi-Fi

Understandably, it can be pretty tempting to take advantage of free Wi-Fi to enjoy your favorite online games. But if you don’t know who the Wi-Fi belongs to, try and stay away from it. Some ‘free’ Wi-Fis are nothing but fake hotspots set up to intercept personal data from unsuspecting gamers.

  • Continue to update your login information

Even if nothing looks suspicious on your gaming platform, updating your login information regularly is advisable. Try changing your login credentials at least once every three months, and keep track of every update. You’ll never know which potential risk you avoided by making this simple move. But if you notice any suspicious interference with your account, do not hesitate to change your login credentials immediately.

If you play online games that involve any form of e-wallet cash transfer, inform your bank to ask for confirmation from you before proceeding with any bank transaction.

Additionally, edit your privacy settings to prevent questionable characters from contacting you online. Depending on the game you play, you can consider finding out how to play online with a secure privacy setting if your online gaming preference involves placing wagers in return for prizes. Also, be suspicious of any form of unsolicited communication. 

  • Avoid saving your payment details and auto-fills

Setting up your browser to remember your login info and save transaction details can be quite convenient, as it makes it easier to log in again, but it is also a very risky move. Anyone who accesses your device can also log into your account, monitor your activities, and view and copy all your sensitive details even more dangerous. To avoid such risks, avoid saving your payment details and auto-fills.