It is no unknown fact that there has been an unprecedented rise in playing online games in the last few decades, following the advancements in technology and innovation. 2017 data estimates the presence of over 2 million gamers, worldwide, and by 2020, that number has only increased. The surge in popularity for online gaming is a recent trend that has also jeopardized certain gamers. A lot of gamers have fallen prey to fishing activities, and malicious content online, by virtue of which they have paid the price, in literal terms, by losing money and also risking their identities online.
It is only prudent that you are not one of them. Though it is highly unlikely that you’ll come across any phishing activities, it does not harm you to take preventive measures and keep the bad guys at bay. So, in this article, we have accumulated 5 tips that’ll tell you how to be safe while playing online games:
1. Account Security
While this is a no-brainer, it is something you cannot choose to ignore, especially when you’re on the internet. Most online games and social media platforms come with a two-step verification, at present, to ensure the maximum safety to their users. Besides, your password, it requires additional information to step into your account. This is to protect accounts, whose passwords may have been accidentally compromised.
Getting familiar with the privacy settings of your online gaming accounts is a major step you cannot bypass, or be casual about. Know what personal information every gaming account stores, and never give important information like credit card details, passwords and other sensitive or confidential information that’ll put you at risk in the future. Also, going incognito might be a good option especially when you’re playing on these sites.
2. Choose an authentic site
If you’re playing online games, you have to choose an authentic, reliable and a reputable website. This is of special significance, if you’re playing poker, because there are an overwhelming number of sites that have been designed to dupe the user, compromise your confidential information, while putting you at risk of larger illicit and illegal activities, by making you a victim of identity theft. While you’re choose the website, ensure that it provides the scope for fair gameplay. Use a strong password to secure your account, but also ensure that the payment gateways are safe and secure, and do not save your personal information. And no matter how lengthy and time-consuming reading that terms and conditions page sounds like do it.
It is supposed to be tedious and boring, but not reading and agreeing to just anything is basically harming yourself more than any of the cyber bullies or hackers can do.
3. Blocking & Reporting
If a certain player on an online gaming platform is making you uncomfortable, you can resort to blocking that individual. But, don’t just be content with blocking the individual. Report the profile to the online gaming platform, and let the developers know of potential suspicious activities. If someone is asking confidential information from you, block and report immediately, as well. In scenarios like this, a delay in action is not the best way to proceed. Inappropriate content is another thing that should make you suspicious, right off the bat, and if you come across any, you know the drill.
4. Don’t fall prey to cheat codes
Sometimes, on an online gaming platform, it might so happen that you’re stuck on a game level, for quite some time, and you’re unable to find your way around to the next level. No matter how hard it gets, don’t fall victim if someone offers you a cheat code, an individual or a suspicious and malicious link. Cheat codes are often designed and developed in a manner, that will take advantage of your despondency, and expose your vulnerability, by getting access to your personal information. Usually, they require you to open another malicious link, or download a file, which is full of viruses, and have the potential of stealing confidential information on your device.
5. Don’t disable your firewall
Well, we gamers know that firewalls and certain antivirus software can lag our performance. Their functioning inevitably slows down your device, and though it can be annoying to deal with, we recommend not disabling your firewall. Disabling your firewall puts you at the risk of malicious content that you so often encounter especially if you’re on online gaming sites. Not only should you have your antivirus software installed and enabled, but also you must have it up-to-date.
If your firewall is something that lags your performance, you might consider getting a special antivirus software that is more suited to gamers. Special gaming antivirus software is designed and developed that protects your safety, and does not lag your performance.