Recently, a big security firm in the US published the survey results on security and gaming. It’s a little disappointing. It was found that 3 quarters of the gamers worry about gaming’s security in the future. Fifty-five percent of the gamers reuse passwords in different accounts and average gamers have experienced almost 5 cyber attacks.

It tells you nothing about gaming security or gamers. Gamers outside their games are computer users with the same security problems and the same concerns as everybody else. However, inside the games, it’s a different world where only some normal rules of the civilized behavior apply.

Some hackers steal virtual goods and hack gamers. They also sell such goods to some gamers in the game for money in the real world. The best hackers in games can earn a huge amount of money.

Color photo of a black gaming controller used to illustrate the meaning of gaming and cyber security risks.
The gamers must be wary of the deals that are too good to be true. | Photo credit: Pexels
Cyber Security Risks in Gaming

Whether hackers are aiming to take over accounts for virtual wealth of the character of the player or real-world data of the player, they have different ways to make an effective hack. The methods are not different to what users in any field face, yet gamers may experience unique risk circumstances and factors.

1. Weak Authentication

Reuse of password is a common problem as average gamers have to manage accounts for different distribution platforms, games, and publishers themselves. Every distribution platform like Origin and Steam needs an account. Other game companies like Rockstar and Epic Games need an account to play some games or access the social features.

Majority of multiplayer games online will require passwords. This leaves the gamers to remember and deal with lots of passwords and some older games may be forgotten easily with account credentials that are not updated for years.

2. Malware

Vectors to spread malware to gamers frequently overlap with the methods of phishing. If the Steam chat may be used for spreading links to a fake authentication page, it may be used to send some links to downloads that are driven by malware.

Through competitive games, lots of players might be convinced to download malicious apps voluntarily promising hacks, cheats or some ways to take advantage over some players.

3. Phishing

The campaigns about phishing are often targeted against the players of the popular games. The phishers are not limited to the usual fraudulent emails usually used for tricking users to giving up the login credentials.

A frequent tactic is setting up fake login pages or posing as friends and attempt to send some malicious links through chat platforms. A common interest in the gaming world lends trust and credence to phishing emails.

4. Security Flaws in Websites and Games

While there are lots of ways for gamers to be victims of malicious actors, it does not absolve the game companies from the responsibilities. Players depend on secure apps and infrastructure just as much as they depend on their ability to spot threats. Unfortunately, it isn’t the responsibility that game companies uphold successfully always.

Color photo of human hands holding a gaming controller used to illustrate the importance of gaming safety.
While there are lots of ways for gamers to be victims of malicious actors, it does not absolve the game companies from their responsibilities. | Photo credit: Pexels
Best Ways Gamers Can Consider to Protect Themselves

The situation is not as grim as it could appear. Oftentimes, it is the case that users are weakest points in security systems, yet majority of gamers are actually digital natives. A particular amount of familiarity with the technology makes it simpler to educate users on the finer points of data protection and security. There are different precautions people may take to safeguard their accounts better from harm.

Below are some of the ways on how gamers can stay protected:

– Awareness on Phishing

The typical phishing tip or advice applies to the gamers as much as anybody else. Do not click links without being sure where it should go even the links sent by friends might be malicious in case of compromised accounts. Take note that genuine emails from the game providers won’t request personal information or login details.

If it is not possible to tell if emails are genuine, contact the support team of the game directly and ask. The gamers must be wary of the deals that are too good to be true. Fellow players offering apparent bargain trades might be trying to tempt people to a phishing scheme and websites offering unbeatable competitive advantage is more than like a kind of scam.

– Password Protection

Good practices on passwords are just as effective when it comes to gaming security. Gamers must follow the guidelines for the strength of passwords and consider using the passphrases to help memory as well as protect against any brute-forcing. Good password managers might be helpful.

It is also essential to avoid reusing the same passwords on different accounts or compromised overwatch accounts might turn to a compromise of the personal email of the user.

– Multi-Factor Authentication

Many distributors and games provide options for 2 or more factor authentication. Such must always be turned on once available. It adds extra step to the process of login, which sends a code to either registered phone number or email. Even if inconvenient, the game companies encourage the 2FA for enhanced account security and others are starting to provide in-game rewards to the players who enable them.

– Malware Protection

A lot of gamers have antipathy to operating antivirus software as it’s frequently perceived as drain on performance. Several antivirus products are prone to false-positives as well in terms of game platforms or games. It is possible and absolutely recommended to find the best antivirus that includes features for game mode to keep the performance high and which will not discourage the gamers from staying secure with the false-positives.

Conclusion

When it comes to gaming security, video gaming has an exceptional type of duality. Gamers are software users. Just like others, they are subject to the same security threats and risks as other users. The same principles of security are as important and effective. But, every threat involves unique twists, which add a complication that is not seen in some fields.

Attackers have options to compromise the security of the player and players should tailor their practices to account for them. Through knowing the same security aspects and the other aspects, game companies and customers may protect themselves and be safe in a way that is fun while containing real value as well as a real potential loss.

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