Game Over: Gamers Are Losing Sensitive Payment and Personal Data

Game Over: Gamers Are Losing Sensitive Payment and Personal Data

Billions of people worldwide log in to their favorite video games every single day. From cozy gamers to e-sport professionals, the numbers are absolutely staggering. The enthusiasts turn to online gaming to hang out with friends, conquer the latest titles, or compete with other players. But the world of video games is not as safe as it seems.

Cybercriminals have infiltrated it a long time ago, but the current availability of online gaming has created the perfect space for them to get their hands on valuable user information. If you enjoy video games and want to improve your cybersecurity, here’s where to start:

Game Over: Gamers Are Losing Sensitive Payment and Personal Data

Protecting your data while gaming

Cybercriminals are usually interested in financial information but sometimes also want access to gaming accounts, depending on the items their target has. Talking and chatting with other players within a game is usually the first step towards being hacked or scammed. So, let’s learn how to protect yourself and your account:

Enable two-factor authentication

Gaming platforms such as Steam and have implemented two-factor authentication a long time ago to tackle scamming and hacking of their users. When you create an account on one of these platforms, you can download an app to your phone that automatically generates a code required for a login.

Unfortunately, some players opt out of this, leaving their accounts vulnerable to hacking. Two-factor authentication is a convenient feature that ensures you are the only person with access to your account. Even if a third party manages to guess or get their hands on your username and password, they won’t be able to log in without the code. Therefore, it’s a must-have for all gamers.

Use a VPN

A VPN is a tool that brings your privacy to a whole new level – something every gamer needs nowadays. Some might say that a VPN can drastically slow down your connection and increase your ping, but gaming with a VPN is not that much different in speed. Some benefits of using a VPN include a hidden IP address and access to geo-restricted content.

Those who often forget to enable their VPN could use a VPN auto connect option. It is convenient for gamers who travel and play games on the move. A VPN auto connect can recognize an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network and instantly switch to an encrypted connection.

Beware of phishing

Online gaming enables communication between players, an outstanding feature that led to many strong friendships. But cybercriminals who want to steal your personal information can also exploit in-game chat. Every time you receive a link to an unknown website from someone you don’t know, simply ignore it. It is the best way to avoid phishing websites.

Of course, there’s no reason why you should share your personal information with other players you’ve just met in the game. Other users shouldn’t know your password or email. Remember to stay proactive and report users who send out links or are engaged in suspicious activity.

Learn more about general safety

Being familiar with quick security tips can improve your overall safety on online platforms. Start by reviewing the privacy options on platforms you frequent and see how your profile looks to other players. Most will allow you to switch to private, which is useful when you don’t want to share too much detail about yourself.

Additionally, downloading pirated games and DLCs could endanger your gaming device. Malware is frequently hidden among the files, so taking a risk is not worth it. Stick to downloading your games from official sources to make sure you don’t accidentally end up with a virus. The same goes for in-game purchases, which come from an unknown source.

Game Over: Gamers Are Losing Sensitive Payment and Personal Data

Finally, keep your operating system and other software, especially the antivirus, up to date. Even if you pick up malware somewhere online, your antivirus software will warn you and remove the threat from your machine. Enabling automatic updates is the easiest way always to have the latest software versions, so check your settings to confirm everything is running properly.

Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios. When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games