Since smartphones and computers have become a very important part of our lives, gaming apps and websites are gaining popularity among people of all ages and have become a new and very busy channel to meet new friends online.
However, as in any type of interaction, you will have to take into account some guidelines before trusting any unknown person or making any new friends through online video games. Here we give you a few precautions to take when meeting new people online while playing games.
– Create exclusive emails: Online video games force the user to create an account. Many of them even allow access through social networks which is a big mistake. It is recommended to create a completely new email, as well as not to include personal information such as names, dates of birth, place of residence, etc.
– Do not link credit or debit cards: Many video games require payments. To do this, instead of linking credit or debit cards, it is advisable to use a virtual wallet. For example, PayPal. In addition, it must be linked to an exclusive account (not your personal one). Another option is to buy cards with money to spend on specific video game ecosystems.
– Do not manipulate the consoles: It is a very common practice. But doing so voids the warranty and security of the device by design.
– Connect only to known networks: A cybersecurity recommendation that goes beyond mere video games. Never connect to unknown public networks, as user privacy may be compromised.
– Always log out: It is also recommended to delete temporary files, browsing history, and cookies as well.
– Download video games from official stores: If this practice is not followed, it could lead to a malware infection.
– Limit the use of chats: In video games, especially online ones, the user can be part of a community. Players can be in contact through chats, audio, and video. But this can lead to cases of scamming, cyberbullying, or fraud. Hence, it is strictly necessary to be careful during conversations with strangers, as well as not to divulge personal information through these forums.
– Do not click on links: Another basic cybersecurity recommendation. In the world of video games, it is very common, especially on forums, to share links or extensions. Some malicious links can lead to the infection of the user’s devices.
If we talk about phishing, smishing and malware attacks, the danger isn’t just hidden in emails. Those can be carried out through social media, chat platforms, gaming sites, phone calls and other online sources as well.
So, if you receive an unexpected link or attachment, you need to be alert. Treat them with suspicion and always check if the sender is someone you know, better by means other than how you got the link or attachment.
– Use parental control: If the user is a minor, parents must use parental control applications. Even some video games already incorporate it by default.
– Deactivate the GPS and cover the cameras: To avoid cyber espionage, it is necessary not to give video games access to the location (much less in real-time) and to cover the device’s camera.
One of the industries that have been growing the most in recent years, along with cybersecurity, is video games and eSports. And cybercriminals know it. Millions of users of any age are potential victims of cyberattacks that can be very varied. The theft of names, addresses, credit cards, and money, in addition to cyberbullying, grooming, and sending malware, are some of the most prominent.
Hence, cybersecurity is an essential part when using online video games and eSports.
– Don’t give out too much information:
When you start talking to a person during the gameplay, avoid giving too much personal information, at least at first. The basics will come up at some point: age, occupation, concerns, likes, and dislikes. It is better to talk about trivialities and find common ground to chat about.
Another common form of scam in online games is phishing, in which the criminal sends a spam message asking for personal information, such as bank details, and identity, among other details that can be sold or used in fraud. Criminals may also try to impersonate people they know to appear more trustworthy, particularly on mobile apps.
Just in case you want to share your data with any unknown person, it is advisable to check their basic details on Nuwber. This site provides basic data of that person such as home and email address, contact details, social links, family details, work history, and much more.
– Use strong passwords:
Try to use passwords with diversified characters, with uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers, and with more than eight characters. So, it is advisable to create your password 10 characters long and as complex as possible.
Also, you need to remember to use a unique password for each of your online accounts. If you use the same email and password combination for all accounts, in case one of them is breached, you must assume that all have been breached. And most importantly, never share passwords with anyone.
– Use MFA (multi-factor authentication):
Multi-factor authentication has become an important safety measure in general. It is more secure for your gaming or other personal accounts, whether they are for work, school, University, or your social networks, for example.
Double authentication is an extra layer of protection, it comes along after entering your username and the first password. It could be in a form of a code created by an app, a push notification that you have to accept, an actual key that you plug into your device, or something similar.
– Update the operating system, programs, and applications:
Sometimes it is tedious to have to wait for the computer to finish updating its operating system, but it is essential to correct possible errors that could be used by your online unknown friends or hackers. It is also highly recommended to activate automatic updates in all the applications that we can use on the mobile or PC so that we do not have to do it manually.
One last cybersecurity recommendation, not only when using video games but for any field, is to keep your devices updated. You should also have an antivirus installed. A work of awareness with the little ones will also help them to have safety as one of their priorities.