A Guide to Boosting Cybersecurity for Online Gaming
These days, online gaming is more popular than ever before. As a result, there have been quite a number of upgrades in the industry, including more games and improved gameplay. At the same time, this popularity has also brought a more concerning matter to light: security.
It is estimated that the gaming industry, as a whole, experienced 12 billion cyber-attacks within the span of 17 months! This staggering number alone shows that this is something that gaming companies and the average gamer alike need to be concerned with.
Are you taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself from cyber-attacks? Well, if you are like the vast majority of gamers, you are probably not doing enough. If you want to change all of this, however, here are some tactics you should try:
Find a Gaming Laptop with Good Security Features
Perhaps the first step you can take is to find a computer that is already equipped with an OS that has proven to have excellent security features. It is also a good idea to look for one that can’t be easily accessed. So, consider how many obstacles you can place on your laptop to prevent anyone from accessing it.
The good news for you is that most laptop manufacturers take your device security very seriously. As such, most of your gaming computers should be well-protected. This, of course, is dependent on whether or not you actually activate all of the security features included in it.
Don’t Reuse Passwords
Let’s face it, you probably have more online accounts than you can keep track of. This is why most gamers – although they are warned not to – reuse their passwords. You may be guilty of this action as well.
If so, it is time to put an end to it immediately. This is due to the fact that there are a rising number of credential stuffing attacks taking place on gaming sites. So, what does this mean? Well, this is an instance where hackers use usernames combined with passwords from previous breaches to try and gain access to your account.
The people that undertake this attack are really skilled at it. As a result, they know how to spoof the system so that it seems that “you” are trying to sign in from different places at various times. Many hackers are actually quite successful with this kind of attack.
The solution to this problem is obvious – use a new and complex password each time you set up your account. Can’t keep them all straight and are afraid that you might forget them? Then, download a password manager app. This will lock up all of your passwords and let you access them whenever you need to.
Consider Using Prepaid Payment Options
There have been numerous instances of hackers gaining access to gamers’ accounts. Now, one of the scariest real-world consequences of this is that most accounts are linked to credit or debit cards. So, if a hacker gets hold of these details, they can make various purchases.
To reduce the risk of this happening, find out whether you are allowed to use prepaid cards or similar payment mechanisms. Thus, you will not have to provide your credit card details or link up to any other financial account. This should help to provide you with some peace of mind.
Be Careful of Who You Interact With
There are some cybercriminals who don’t bother with trying to hack into your account at all. Instead, they join the game and become a part of the online community. Here, they get to know the players around them and build close, virtual online relationships.
Unfortunately, all of this is a ruse. During this time, these individuals are simply trying to gather as much personal information as they possibly can. Then, with these in hand, they exploit the details either in the game or the real world.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up making online friends. At the same time, you do need to be more aware of who you are interacting with. Since it can be difficult to know who is behind a username, it is often more useful to be careful of what you say to people that you meet within games.
Beware of Malware Embedded in Games
Recently, there were several instances where developers unknowingly rubberstamped games that had been embedded with malware. This meant that thousands of gamers downloaded games from a legitimate source and were still infected anyways.
Now, this is certainly a scary thought but fortunately doesn’t happen too often. When malware does enter a game, it is often because it has been downloaded from a torrent site or a forum. Since you can’t tell where this version came from, there is no way of knowing what type of risk is attached to it.
You will find that it is a much better idea to download games from the original developers. Then, even if something does go wrong, you can be certain that you will be provided with a solution fairly quickly. To add even more security to the game buying process, make sure to go through a popular platform such as Steam.
These platforms often have their own security measures in place. Thus, they will often take the necessary precautions to check that a game is free of malware. Of course, this means more peace of mind for you.
Keep an Ear Out
You should stay up to date on all of the cybersecurity breaches related to gaming. Set up Google alerts or simply keep in touch with people who keep their ears to the ground. While this can seem like a hassle, this step can be very useful when new hacking or cybercrime stories break.
When you are able to know of such crimes before anyone else, you can take action much faster. This can significantly reduce the consequences associated with such crimes.
These are the top security precautions that you need to start taking as a gamer. While you may not feel like you are at risk from such attacks, you clearly are. Make sure to keep yourself safe so that you can enjoy your gaming experience a great deal more.