The internet has made life easier. With a simple click on your smartphone or desktop, you can make online purchases, send funny cat videos to your friends, and even play online games.
However, there is also a downside to all these positives: the security issues surrounding online payments.
Information leaking and cybersecurity are aspects of online gaming that players must be aware of before signing up to a new site or entering their payment details at an existing account.
Common Cybersecurity Threats in Online Games
Here are some of the common cybersecurity threats that can affect online gaming.
A common threat found in online gaming involves two kinds of hacking: trojans and man-made hacking.
Man-made hacking is when the hacker impersonates a customer service staff member and gives the player information of winning opportunities to access their account and password information. In doing this, they instead steal access to the player’s account.
Similarly, trojans use a keyboard recording function that accesses the user’s keystrokes to get access to their password and account information.
When enjoying real money play at online casinos, ensure that you only register with the necessary information to set up the account. You’ll often have to upload your ID documents and sometimes even a photo of your payment card, so triple-check that the platform you’ve chosen is legitimate before doing so.
Falsification of virtual goods and data
Some video games come with plug-in software that has been pre-designed to help virtual characters achieve some goals within the game that players would otherwise struggle to get, such as virtual currency. This can make it unfair for players who do not use these plug-ins to gain extra items or data when playing the game. However, these plug-ins can be false and access the players’ personal information stored when playing the game.
Overtaking highly-ranked accounts
Your account will be considered high-ranking if you are an avid online gamer. This means you won a few trophies or are ahead of other gamers.
Hackers will use your highly-ranked account to beat other players who do not have a fair advantage within the game. This term is called Smurfing, a fraud scheme used in online gaming.
Financial information theft
Buying games online can lead to your financial information being stolen. Since online gaming has become popular, people are purchasing additions and sequels using online payment methods to continue playing games.
It is important not to save any credit card information to your devices or use suspicious-looking sites to gain access to new game releases.
Spread of malicious viruses
Hackers spread viruses that can access all your personal information. This is easily done when you download illegal games or buy from third-party sellers who might have the game you want at a cheaper price.
While not directly related to payment, cyberbullying is another threat to be aware of when playing online games. Gaming platforms with opportunities for players to interact with one another are popular for obvious reasons and can be a great way to get some much-needed social interaction. However, there’s always the chance that someone will spoil the fun. Always report instances of bullying to game moderators or customer service. If things get out of hand, there’s a chance that this behavior can escalate into financial problems, with cyberbullies blackmailing victims into providing financial details.
Possible Solutions to These Cybersecurity Threats
Some possible solutions to fixing cybersecurity threats, such as those mentioned above.
More advanced identification technology
Using technology that requires more than one type of identification method is necessary to secure your online information and make it extremely difficult for hackers to get your information.
Also, only choose secure payment methods, such as crypto or eWallets like PayPal, that offer buyer protection.
Use strong passwords
A strong password will protect your personal information from being stolen by hackers. Avoid choosing easy-to-remember passwords such as your date of birth or your name. Hackers can easily guess these if they already have some of your information.
Since hackers steal data stored online, they might have your password and other private information. To keep your info safe, choose a difficult password that only you will know comprises lower-casing and capital letters, symbols, and numbers.
Update your software regularly.
Do not leave software updates for a later stage. As soon as you get a notification saying you need to do an update, have it done immediately.
This is necessary for online gaming as well as using online gambling services. Older software programs can have bugs that allow hackers to get into the system and access your information easily.
Never share personal information
With online gaming, you might make new friends you can trust outside your gaming world. Remember that scammers are lurking everywhere; some can be your friends until they have the information they need to steal from you.
To keep safe, never share your information with anyone you have met online or in gaming rooms.
Avoid downloading from untrusted sources.
Trying out new games can lead to downloading from untrusted sources. Easily accessible sources might not always be the real deal. It is also an easier way for hackers to get into your systems and spread malware by sharing links or attachments to a cheat code list or the free version of the game.
Delete personal info from your device.
Reset old devices, such as consoles, when you get new ones to erase all your personal information stored on them. The same applies to new electronics such as computers, laptops, and cell phones.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is the best way to stay secure, especially if you regularly connect to a public internet connection when playing online.
To conclude, although there are some negatives to playing online games and using gambling websites, there are ways you can avoid all of the above and still maintain your online presence in a safe and secure environment.