Do you love playing online games? We don’t blame you because playing games with virtual online buddies, completing quests, saving the world before bedtime, and leveling up together is highly enjoyable—especially when playing real people from all over the world. However, playing online games can also lead to identity theft, bullying, computer viruses, and more. Fortunately, this article has you covered with everything you need to know to be safe when playing games online.
Playing games online comes with many risks for you and your children.You can prevent those risks by limiting your social interactions with strangers and never mentioning personal and financial information. You will also need a good gaming VPN to protect your information from real-world predators and hackers, as well as protect your computer from spyware and DDoS attacks.
What are the Safety Risks When Playing Games Online?
When playing games online, people have so much fun and overlook these two risks; technological risks and social risks.
Technological risks may affect your computer systems or gaming consoles when you are connected to the internet. If you are not careful enough, you might accidentally open viruses from emails and instant messaging apps. Sometimes downloading games from unverified sources may contain corrupt applications hidden in the game files.
If you unknowingly download viruses and worms, it will install malicious software on your computer and take advantage of your sensitive information, including social media logins, email passwords, or worse—your bank and financial information.
If you thought that technological risks are the worst, social risks are equally as risky, especially for kids. Being in the virtual world equally as dangerous as wandering outside in the real world, meaning there are strangers and predators lurking the web, looking for prey.
It could be strangers fishing for personal information, bullies, trolls, or worse—sexual predators.
7 Tips on How to be Safe Online
Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy online gaming without risking you and your family’s safety. Here are some useful tips for make online gaming safer, giving you the peace of mind you need:
Tip #1 Use a Gaming VPN
If you want to add an extra layer of security from hackers and DDoS attacks that could instantly destroy your console of PC, make sure you sign up of a trusted VPN for gaming. Aside from security, there are many more benefits to using a VPN.
Tip #2 Use a Safe Username
When choosing a username for your in-game character, make sure you don’t reveal your true name, birthday, and other information that will risk your identity.
Tip #3 Beware of Free Downloads and Cheat Code Programs
Viruses and malicious software are usually hidden in the form of in-app purchases, free downloads, and cheat code programs. If you want to avoid viruses like these, steer clear of fishy download links that seem too good to be true. Also, make sure you double-check your ad blockers and antivirus programs and keep them up to date.
Tip #4 Check Your Privacy Settings
Whenever you are signing up for a new game, always read the fine print and review your privacy settings on your computer and filter the information you are sharing.
Tip #5 Limit Social Interactions and Never Share Private and Financial Information
The internet is full of strangers, especially in gaming. It is very easy to make friends on the internet, which means—it is also very easy to meet trolls who are preying on your private information. If you can, limit your social interactions—especially from sketchy individuals who seem very off. Also, never ever share private and financial information to anyone.
Tip #6 Avoid Cyberbullies and Trolls
Avoid talking to people who come off as bullies online. If you have kids, always keep an eye on who they interact with online. If you come across a cyber bully, block them out and ignore them.
Tip #7 Check ESRB Ratings and Parental Controls for Kids
Some games have an ESRB rating, so make sure you choose a game that is age-appropriate for your children. Also, keep in mind that there are parental controls that you can use to limit your kid’s internet activities, such as using messaging apps and blocking adult content.
So what did we learn in this article? Basically, now you know that the internet is not a very safe place. It may be a virtual world but the hazards are very real, so make sure you follow these tips to ensure a more enjoyable online gaming experience!