Gaming is more popular than ever. Literally tens of millions of Americans play online and/or via one of the major gaming systems. It’s a pastime that has only grown since the pandemic forced everyone to go home and then go online.
Unfortunately, as seems to be true with so many things, the more popular something becomes, the more valuable it is to scammers and hackers. A recent report on online fraud and abuse concluded that gaming was the most attacked industry in 2020, with an estimated 65 attacks per second.
Update the Password on Your Router
This might seem like a no-brainer. But lots of people never actually take the time to set a customized password for their home internet router. They just use whatever the manufacturer provided. These easy-to-guess passwords leave you particularly vulnerable to hackers, whether you’re a gamer or not.
Make Sure Your Network is Up-to-Date
Next to making sure your router is secure, you should also make sure that your home network always operates using the latest software and updates. Next to ensuring consistently smooth use, these updates also tend to offer the latest protections when it comes to blocking malware, viruses, and other security-related issues.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
You want to get to the game fast, we get it. But is it really that big of a deal to spend literally just a few more seconds to better ensure your gaming security? Pretty much every gaming system offers you the option of enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) to add another layer to the log-in process.
It’s worth the time. And it should be the minimum effort you take to make your gaming experience more secure.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is similar to 2FA. In fact, in that it refers to more than one authentication factor, MFA could be said to be the broader category that encompasses 2FA. The one main difference with MFA is that you could technically add a third layer of protection to your log-in process.
Part of the fun of online gaming can be connecting with others playing at the same time. However, doing so could be risky. While you’re chatting, a player you might not know could put malware on the chat or provide links to scam websites. Unless you’re playing with someone you know is a friend, it’s best not to get pulled into a chat.
Trying to win a game can be frustrating if you keep getting stuck in the same place over and over. You could be tempted to try to find a cheat or other workaround to help you move forward.
You already know that that’s iffy at best from a gamesmanship perspective. But it could also make you vulnerable to the not-so-moral person supplying a cheat. Hidden inside that illicit cheat code could be malware that slows down or even crashes the game.
Be Careful Buying Games
A hot new game is coming out soon. You want it bad. But don’t let that desire blind you to security risks. You may be tempted by “early access” to a game or a particularly good price for it.
Before you click that link, however, keep in mind that an in-demand game isn’t likely to be on sale from the get-go. Nor would any legitimate retailer be able to provide access any earlier than anyone else. It’s more likely that the “game” you buy turns out to be malware that messes up your system. Or you pay and they disappear. Either way, you’ve been scammed.
All-in-all, maintaining better gaming security isn’t overly complex, it just takes a little time and effort. That is probably more than you could say about trying to beat the remake of Final Fantasy VII.
For more information about gaming, streaming and other online security issues, be sure to check out the PeopleFinders Blog.
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