What can you and your family do to protect yourselves when you play online games? We have some great tips for you.
One of the most amazing things about playing online games is that it puts you in touch with the world. That’s pretty exciting – to create connections with different cultures and places – but there is also a risk involved. While most online gamers are there for the right reasons, there will always be some whose intentions are questionable and even criminal. In its July Security Awareness Newsletter, the SANS Institute posted an in-depth article by an expert in the field on protecting yourself when gaming online. We’ve outlined some of the most important points from the article below:
- Be wary of clicking on links or downloading files. Phishing attacks can happen in online gaming just like they can in emails. “If a message seems odd, urgent, or too good to be true,” don’t do it!
- Just like in real life, only deal with people with established, trusted reputations in online gaming marketplaces. You wouldn’t feel comfortable bartering with an unknown seller from a classifieds ad who seems to have this incredible deal on a used car, right? Watch out for fraudsters in online gaming transactions as well. Protect your gaming money just like you would the cash in your wallet.
- Use strong passwords for gaming accounts. Set up passphrases or manage them with a password manager so hackers can’t guess your password and take over your account. Use two-step authentication whenever possible.
- Keep your gaming computer updated with the latest versions of software and your OS.
- Anti-virus software is a must. Keep it updated and scanning on a regular schedule.
- Only use trusted websites to download gaming software. Cyber attackers often “create a fake or infected version of a game, then distribute it from their own server.”
- Be careful when downloading gaming add-on packs created by the community. They may contain malware. Download from trusted sites, and if an add-on “requires you to disable your anti-virus or make changes to your security settings, do not use it.”
- Don’t install or use any type of software to cheat in the game as many contain malware that will infect your computer.
- Be as cautious when playing mobile games as you are when on your computer. You are a target there, too.
To supplement these important steps for protecting yourself in online gaming, we want to add our own list of 5 ways using a VPN can add security to and improve your online gaming:
- You can play games, download content and access exclusive content (think XBox Live or PSN!) from any country.
- You may be able to play certain games earlier if another country has an earlier launch date.
- Speed up your gaming by using a VPN server in a location closer to the location of the gaming server.
- Protect your data and files through the encryption of a reputable VPN.
- Protect yourself from gamers who try to cheat the system by slowing you down with DDoS attacks.
Now go and have some fun! When you know the correct steps to take to protect yourself, you won’t have to worry about becoming a victim so that you can focus on enjoying the experience.