How to Protect Yourself When Gaming Online

Gaming is exciting, engaging, challenging and social. But it’s not always fun and games in this age of hackers, spammers, spies and DDoS attackers. Gaming online increases your risk of getting attacked for any set of reasons.

Now, we’re not saying everyone that plays video games online is bound to experience a cyberattack at some point.  But if you want to be safe, protect yourself by utilizing some of the tips shared below:

Play at Safe Sites

Playing video games on platforms like Steam is growing rapidly. But guess what? Slot and poker fans have been playing games online for over two decades. Still, to be clear, it’s always been essential to pick gaming sites carefully to avoid online scams.

This in-depth guide goes into more details on how to pick safe online casinos in New Jersey. It also provides some recommendations to save you time. With that in mind, picking a safe gaming site involves checking for data encryption tools, firewalls, reputation, legality and data protection policies.

Besides protection from cyber attackers, gaming at top-rated sites exposes you to the best services in the industry. Think of access to a wide variety of games, low fees, and leveraging a large community of fellow gamers.

Install a VPN on All Your Gaming Devices

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) use military-grade techniques to encrypt your data. What’s more, they hide your IP address by replacing it with a temporary IP address located in a city, country or continent of your choice.

By hiding your computer’s address, a VPN can protect you from swatting, DDoS, bandwidth throttling and geo-restrictions. Swatters and DDoS attackers need your IP address to learn more about you before carrying out their crimes.

 On the flip side, if your Internet service provider slows down your connections, the solution is to hide your IP address. On the flip side, you can access geo-restricted gaming content by switching your IP to a country where the content is allowed.

As mentioned, VPNs don’t just hide your IP address. They also encrypt your data. This can protect you from hackers, snoopers and malware. However, you need the best VPN provider for solid protection.

Don’t Overshare Personal Information

Many online games love to ask for personal information. They want to know your name, your location, your social media names and even financial details. Unfortunately, sharing these details puts you at a great risk of cybercrimes.

Think about it. Many digital spies and stalkers attack you after they discover your true identity. They might find out your Twitter user name. Next, they can look at your past tweets to determine your location and address.

The best way to protect yourself from stalkers is to limit the amount of personal data you share online. Hide your IP address through a VPN. Then use a pseudo name for your gaming accounts.

You can share certain gaming posts on your social accounts. But avoid sharing posts from suspicious websites. When it comes to sharing your address; don’t. Follow the same advice for financial information—only reveal the necessary information required to complete a transaction.

Buy or Install Legitimate Games

We know—online games can be expensive. They can also be geo-restricted, leaving you with no option than to find deals at torrent sites. Sadly, far too many torrent sites let you download malware-ridden games without a care.

Some freeware sites warn you against downloading free programs without performing due diligence, though. That’s because most pirated games are unsafe. To stay safe, download games from trusted platforms.

Steam is jam-packed with free low-budget games. Of course, there are plenty of alternative platforms. And if you’re a mobile gamer, you can get all the games you need on Apple or Google Play Stores. 

Beware of Cyberbullying

A recent study published by the BBC shows up to 57% of young online game players have experienced cyberbullying. Roughly 22% of the gamers ended up quitting a specific game because they couldn’t handle the harassment. 

Cyberbullying is a form of mental torture. Although rare, sometimes it can worsen into physical harm when an attacker stalks you in real life. In extremely rare cases, cyberbullying can lead to death, say due to suicide or a regrettable swatting incident. 

Considering anyone can become a target of cyberbullies, it’s in your best interest to identify harassers and report them to proper authorities. Let’s say you’re playing a game that supports chatting.

But then your opponent keeps hurling extremely personal insults. You can turn off the chatbot. Or you can report your opponent to your game’s customer service. In case of death threats or other serious crimes, you could even contact law officials for better assistance.

Use an Antivirus

Today’s antiviruses aren’t really antiviruses. They are antimalware programs that can protect you from sophisticated online threats:

  • Ransomware
  • Trojans
  • Worms
  • Viruses
  • DDoS Attacks

Of course, new online threats keep cropping up every year. But the best anti-malware programs are also evolving to handle changing threats. All you need is research to help you discover the best antivirus out there. 

Acquire an antivirus you can use to protect all your devices with a single account. This can help you keep the costs down while benefiting from multi-device protection.

Practice Basic Internet Security Tips

Some Internet browsing tips should come naturally. For example, you shouldn’t engage with strangers, more so, if they start to ask for personal information. What’s more, you should avoid suspicious websites and use unique passwords for all your devices.

Truth be told, many hackers aren’t sophisticated. They don’t use advanced hacking tools to attack random gamers. Instead, they steal your data by using information you’ve probably shared online.

They hack your account through social engineering—using your social media information to guess for passwords. On the flip side, phishers trick you by pretending to be people or companies you know. 

However, it’s up to you to double check profiles, sites and emails to avoid getting trapped by attackers. Pay more attention to promotions that involves free gifts and money. If the giveaways come from suspicious sites, avoid them.