Your privacy is the most important when surfing the web, but did you ever consider the same is true with gaming?
Video gaming is increasingly popular due to the number of players joining this enticing world every day and the variety of games available on the market. There’s literally everything for everyone. Not to mention that video games have proven incredibly beneficial as regards mental faculties, such as memorisation, problem-solving, and concentration. Research on video games and mental health has been conducted, and it has been found that they have the potential to treat – or at least alleviate – various conditions, including anxiety and depression.
But imagine what it would be like to finally reach your last challenging mission after spending hours and hours on this particular game, and then the unexpected happens. You’re locked out of your account, your screen goes black, and all your in-game achievements are lost. Well, we’re sorry to tell you that, but this is a data breach, and it happens more often than you think among players. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a professional player, you should pay more attention to your online gaming privacy.
Fortunately, there’re solutions to avoid this situation, and the ones mentioned below are some of the most effective.
Think before you share
Gaming companies usually require information about you, ending up knowing more than you might want. First, these companies need your data to enhance the gaming experience and, second, to supervise their players during their voice communications or in-game chats. It’s actually good that such things are taken into account by gaming companies, as it’s an effective method to prevent fraud or cheating. So, if you’ve tended to perceive this sort of monitoring as unfavourable, it’s not the case. Instead, you should be worried about the multitude of malicious actors out there looking for accounts to compromise and steal crucial data like bank account details.
Therefore, avoid sharing any data, be it usernames or codes, as this could end up in the wrong hands. Specialists from http://www.databreachcompensationexpert.co.uk/, for example, warn against personal data sharing, recommending always using it for related, specific reasons and keeping it to a minimum. Simply put, you should share as little as possible and always be vigilant regarding cyber threats. It’s pretty easy to fall into the trap of a cybercriminal, as online games typically provide anonymity to users. We know it sounds scary, but in some cases, you may think you’re talking with a fellow player or mate when it’s actually about a suspicious person with a criminal history. That’s why keeping your most valuable data to yourself is better, even if you feel comfortable with a particular player.
Be careful of cheat programmes and codes
If you’ve been into gaming for quite a while, you’re probably aware of the many codes and programmes designed to help you get to the next level. Numerous players make use of such programs to advance through the game, as they save time and energy. But how? Well, they allow some shortcuts as regards players’ missions and duties in the game. However, you should keep an eye out for cheat programmes and codes, as they can contain spyware or viruses, causing you to lose control over your game. So, be always sure you use advanced antivirus software, advanced enough to detect this kind of threat and properly combat it.
Prefer original over pirated games
It might be tempting to use a pirated copy of a game you like, but that is, let’s say, too expensive to buy. Pirating is the go-to variant in this regard, but it’s by no means the best – or the most recommended. First, you break the law by downloading a pirated version of a game and second, you run a risk of not being able to install and update the game properly. And this latter concern is all the more important since updates are critical to the overall gaming experience, providing more in-game alluring features and settings, so it would be a pity not to make the most of the game that has grabbed your attention. Plus, pirated games are prone to malware, so once you install them, your computer is likely to get infected. You know the saying, better safe than sorry, so keep yourself safe and sound by buying original game versions.
Use a VPN while playing
Public Wi-Fi networks are better avoided, as they pose several security risks. They make you more vulnerable to data breaches, as anyone can see your IP (Internet Protocol) address and thus access essential data stored on your browser. This includes everything from personal details to bank account information. So, make sure you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) every time you play that top-notch game you’ve long craved. VPNs are critical tools to ensure your online privacy safety no matter your activity, as they change your DNS (Domain Name System) information and conceal your geographical location. However, some games might not allow VPN for region-locked in-game items or location-locked release dates, as it can influence the speed and latency of the games. So, we recommend always looking for this aspect in gaming VPNs.
Reconsider your account credential choices
We live in a digital age where privacy is more important than ever. So, the time for weak passwords has passed. Forget about all those credentials of the likes “name plus date of birth” or “your favourite football team”. These will be hackers’ first tries when aiming at compromising your accounts, so make sure you’re at least one step ahead of them and build strong credentials that are hard to guess. Uniqueness is a crucial criterion in this case, and also avoid creating passwords that remind you of. The best solution would be to combine random words, phrases, and numbers and use both upper- and lowercase letters. If you want, install a password manager to store all your game account credentials safely. Yes, you’ve heard it right – all your credentials because there would be more than one. It’s essential to have a different password for each account so that if one guesses one and manages to hack one of your accounts, at least have the other ones protected.
As you can see, there are a bunch of options, so you can be safe while playing online video games.