Online video games aren’t just a fun pastime. Research suggests that gaming improves hand-eye coordination and response time. Researchers also found out that gaming reduces stress levels and improves multi-tasking and decision-making skills. These benefits do come with risks, one of which is the risk to your online security. Besides setting up a firewall freeware, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Look at our 10 security tips for online gamers.
1. Install an antivirus app and a firewall and keep them updated
Malware attacks are common on the internet, so it makes sense to keep yourself protected. Antivirus apps and firewalls are two useful tools to give you safe and stress-free gaming experience. Malware threats evolve and change over time. Keeping your internet security apps updated allows them to keep up with the latest threats, stopping them from crashing your gaming experience.
There are many internet security apps available, both premium and freeware, so check these out and choose what’s best for you.
2. Keep a lid on your social media accounts
Many online games feature connections to social media sites. By exploiting vulnerabilities on social media platforms, malicious actors can gain access to your personal information. This can leave you open to identity theft.
Reduce your vulnerability to this kind of attack. Avoid giving out personal information while on a gaming platform.
3. Keep yourself anonymous
Online games also offer connections to video chat, audio chat, and messaging apps. Avoid using a photo of yourself as a profile picture on your messaging app. When taking part in a video chat, consider wearing a face mask. Change your voice when engaging in a voice chat.
4. Keep your password secure
Virtually all online games require you to create an account and profile. This allows easy tracking of your in-game progress. Keep your account secure by choosing a password that is hard to guess but easy to memorize. Remember to change your password regularly, and if you have difficulty remembering passwords, try using a password manager app.
Check out other password management tips here.
5. Always use genuine software
Avoid using knock-offs and pirated copies of games. While pirated copies of games are cheaper, these may have been tampered with, and you could be installing a security risk.
Running counterfeit software can also get you banned from game servers and get you threatened with legal action. Better stick to the genuine article.
6. Read the manufacturer’s manual
Consoles can have several features that you don’t know about, like parental controls. Know more about the platform you are playing on by reading the manual. It’s a cheap and easy way to learn about what your game platform can do.
7. Be wary of buying or selling virtual items for cash
A whole industry of people buying and selling premium game items for cash was born due to massively multiplayer online games. While the prospect of scoring a cool sword for your MMORPG character is tempting, avoid these as they are possible security risks.
8. Keep your game software up to date
While tedious, updating your game’s software is important for game safety. Patches often include fixes for security issues and improvements to a game’s quality of life. Get your update directly from the publisher of the game and avoid external links to updates if the link does not come from the publisher.
9. Stay away from cheat engines
Many websites advertise cheats or hacks that make playing games easier. These are often fake and do not work. Worse, they often come with viruses and malware. Stay away from cheats, guys.
10. Remove personal information
Are you selling off your old game console? Scrapping your old PC for a new one? Before you start playing games on your brand spanking new gaming rig, take some time to clear your console or computer of any personal information. This means deleting photos, videos, and online accounts. Reset your computer or console to factory defaults when possible. Log out of any social media accounts if needed.
There you go, ten tips on keeping your gaming experience safe. Gaming should be fun and stress-free, and with these tips, they will be. Good luck, get good, and have fun!