I am writing this just weeks after I got my computer fixed from a critical malfunction after installing a PC game that I never knew was infected with Viruses. I am among the many gamers out there who continue to worry over issues concerning gaming security as the days progress. A shocking report published by Business Wire showed that at least three-quarters of gamers all over the world worry about their security and privacy while gaming, whether online or offline.
It is estimated that over 50% percent of gamers use the same passwords across all their gaming and other critical accounts online. If by any chance the password is breached, such users would lose valuable data and even money. Well if you thought that was shocking, then hear this from me, it is estimated that an average gamer on this planet has experienced at least five cyber attack attempts in their lifetime of gaming. The number could be bigger depending on the security measures put in place by the user. Such attacks often happen either when the user is aware or unaware.
Poor security habits are at the core of this hacking sprees and this explains why software security companies like McAfee continue to develop systems to prevent such hacks, particularly for gamers. Compared to other computer and smartphone users, gamers stand a bigger risk of compromising their personal data and privacy.
This is because they more than anybody else are more likely to install infected software and apps to their smart devices. This is notwithstanding the very likelihood that their password for gaming services like Steam might be their Facebook password as well as Paypal or Amazon password. In light of this, McAfee recommends a number of ways to stay safe.
1. Use a firewall for Network-based games
If you love gaming while on a network or enjoy multiplayer gaming setups online, you should always ensure that you play games behind a network firewall. By definition, a firewall monitors all your incoming and outgoing network traffic and requests. This way it isolates the networks based on your security rules so that each network is filtered and connected depending on the permission granted. Through a firewall system, you can detect both the trusted and untrusted networks hence stay safer.
2. Use unique passwords for all your online services
I know its very tempting and easier to use one password for all online services that you use. However, this might compromise your security and privacy across all your accounts, that is if your passwords get in the wrong hands. By using a different password everywhere, at least you are able to protect all your other accounts in case one of your accounts is breached.
3. Use antivirus and anti-phishing software on your devices
I can’t exactly choose one for you but there are hundreds of antivirus solutions out there. My personal favorite would be BitDefender and McAfee Total Protection, both of which I have used before. Windows Defender on Windows 10PC is also a good place to start if you don’t want to spend any cash on antivirus software.
4. Follow your Instincts
Always trust your instincts when it comes to matters security. Avoid replying and clicking links on spam emails. If you suspect that a game is installing some fishy third-party programs on your device, remove it and clean up your PC or mobile immediately.
5. Buy Genuine games and avoid Pirated games at all cost
Apart from lacking any valid support online, pirated games pose a very big threat to the integrity of your device. Pirated software and games are the root cause of almost all known online hacks. If you want to be a true gamer, don’t be afraid to spend some money on genuine games. Plus it is good for the heart knowing that the developer who made your favorite video game gets a piece of the cake for their genuine hard work whenever you buy a game online.