Playing online games is fun! From puzzles to first-person shooters, there’s a genre and style for everyone. But did you know that online gaming can pose some cybersecurity risks? The risks include everything from hacking and identity theft to cyberbullying.
So here are some tips to help you stay safe while playing online games.
Consider a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) will mask your IP address, making it more difficult for hackers to target you.
Not all VPN services are good, however, so unfortunately it’s not as straightforward as say picking a new bathtub stopper. Each service has different features, so find the one that best suits your needs. For example, some services have military-grade encryption, while others do not.
To find the right VPN service, first, identify your needs. Do you typically play advanced international gaming tournaments? Or do you only play online puzzle games? Also, check reviews to make sure the VPN is reliable and trustworthy. After all, you’re trusting them with your sensitive data.
Use Strong Passwords
This one seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating: use strong passwords! This is important for all your online accounts, even gaming ones.
The general guidelines of a strong password are a minimum of 8 characters long, including uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. And, while it can be tempting to use familiar words or phrases, avoid words easily associated with you like a pet’s name or street name as well as dictionary words that can be easily guessed.
If you have trouble keeping up, use a password manager to help keep track of your passwords. That way, you only need to remember one master password, and the password manager will do the rest.
Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are a type of online fraud where criminals pose as a legitimate organization to trick you into giving them sensitive information.
They do this by sending emails or creating websites that look like the real thing, but with a slight change in the URL. For example, an email from “PayPai” instead of “PayPal.
Don’t click on any links or enter any information into websites that look off. Instead, go directly to the legitimate website and log in from there. You can also usually hover your mouse over a link to see where it will really take you.
Update Your Software
One final tip is to keep your software up to date. This includes your operating system, web browser, and any games or applications you’re using.
Developers regularly release updates to fix security vulnerabilities and bugs. So by keeping your software up to date, you can help protect yourself from the latest threats.
You can usually set up automatic software updates. If not, manually check for updates regularly.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from the many cybersecurity risks associated with online gaming. So have fun and stay safe!