Online gaming has added an immeasurable amount of fun to gaming over the past few years. Still, it has also been the reason some games and communities have become a bit more insidious, with those wanting to take advantage of an innocent or naive player finding a home in some games.
However, there are ways to play online and stay safe and how to choose the right game for you from reputable service providers. This piece will explore how you can protect yourself while engaging in your favorite pastime in a safe way, and that will set your mind at ease.
Know where the game comes from
The first thing you should do is know where a particular game comes from. Whether it is popular or not, it is vital to know who designed and therefore who has control over what can and can’t be done on the game.
Even over the past few years, there have been several popular apps and games that people have discovered were being used by foreign entities to steal and store personal information.
The best thing you can do is to read up on the developers of a game. This won’t take much time at all but will save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
What does it include?
Many games are more than just the main game that you play. There are often many extras or small parts of a game that are included. Think of something like a Battle Pass or weapon or character skins.
This stuff almost always costs money, and it doesn’t take much effort for you to take a credit card, but the details are for something small, and all of a sudden a ton of money is pouring out of your account, and you have 15 new character skins you didn’t want.
Also, if the game ends up being a front for criminal activity, they now have your banking details. This is especially true of mobile games, as their vetting process for games to get into a mobile app store is very relaxed.
Who else is playing?
The next step to be aware of is who are the people you are coming across in these games. In games such as Fortnite or Warzone, you can play online by yourself, but you can also play games with strangers if you so choose.
Unfortunately, many examples of people use this as a chance to trick players, saying they’re friends or whatever, and then get the player to hand over personal or banking information. This type of thing is pretty apparent, and it is more about how common it really is.
Avoiding these strangers altogether is the main point, and knowing who you are playing with when you play with strangers is essential, as they might send friend requests or something similar afterward. Also, try not to give away too much information when playing.
PC and console vs mobile
Mobile games have become a way for potential hackers to access your information when it comes to cybersecurity. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are the ease with which games can be made and sold, and the make up of a mobile game.
If you have the know-how, you can release a game in barely any time. This enables potential hackers to include a hack or bug of some kind that gains them access to your phone once you have downloaded or opened the game.
Mobile games, in general, are also relatively “lite”. By that, it means they have to include a lot of information but keep the file size as small as possible, as the game is being downloaded onto a phone and not a console or PC.
This means that some aspects of the game are sacrificed, like security. Developers can’t include a block for every possible bug. Therefore games can be vulnerable to a hack. Add this to the fact that many games require personal information or credit card details, and it is a recipe for disaster.
The best you can do is find out how legitimate a game is. Fortnite for mobile is clearly the safer and more legitimate game compared to something called “Fortweek” that has 200 downloads and no reviews.
Understand what the game has access to
Mobile games in particular, often request access to certain things when you first open them. These things usually include your camera, or microphone. While asking for access to these things is for a legitimate reason, it can be taken advantage of.
Sometimes video games require you to make an account, and give you the option to just use your Facebook or Google account. While this is more convenient, a game you don’t know much about does now know a lot of your personal information.
It is safer to just not create an account, and delete the game if it forces you to make one. Also, pay attention to what you are allowing access to and agreeing to when playing a game, if it pushes you to allow access to certain information, once again, it is just safer to delete the game completely.