The Covid 19 pandemic has dramatically increased the popularity of indoor entertainment sources like streaming platforms, online games, and cable services such as Charter Spectrum cable. The internet has played a pivotal role in connecting people during these times and making their quarantine worthwhile. The awareness regarding online games has also expanded as more and more people are using the web to search for online entertainment avenues. But with online games becoming a major leisure time activity, cybercriminals are seeing greater potential in hacking them. This calls for necessary steps and precautions on the part of both the gamers as well as the gaming companies.
Before we look into the ways/tips to ensure safe online gaming, let’s discuss the kinds of threats you need to be cautious about.
A common cybercriminal practice is to sell/pitch the gamer cheats as a product that can help improve the game’s performance. The hackers use cheats to conceal malicious links and payloads that cause ransomware attacks. Players who are unfamiliar with such tactics, open the URL and unknowingly install and download these ransomware programs on their system. A major example in this regard is that of Syrk. It comes disguised as a cheat hack and encrypts the gamer’s videos, documents, and files. Not only this, but it also deletes this data every two hours unless the gamer pays a ransom.
#2. Credential Stuffing
Hackers can use gaming accounts by making use of leaked password lists. They usually target easy-to-creak accounts and credentials. This means that if you tend you use the same password for multiple accounts, you could be vulnerable to credential stuffing. Hackers have automated tools that parse all possible character combinations to crack a user’s credentials. During November 2017 and March 2019, more than 10 billion credential stuffing attacks were recorded in the gaming sector.
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Distributed denial of service are attacks that cybercriminals launch to manipulate or halt gameplay in order to show control and power over other gamers. To do so, they impair your connection’s speed so that there is a delay between the game server and your network. When that happens, you face lags as a result of which the attacker gets ranking points.
#4. Account Takeover
Cybercriminals launch this kind of attack to steal a player’s virtual items and accessories. Account takeovers are pretty common in mobile games. Hackers usually achieve this via phishing attacks in the form of direct messages. It is also common in apps that allow in-game purchases via third-party payment websites. Hackers exploit the code and trick the gamer into giving out their account details. They then use this to extract financial information and steal in-game products. They can also use the stolen information to perform identity theft.
Cybersecurity Tips for Online Gaming
The above-mentioned types are just some of the techniques that cybercriminals employ to harm gamers. Malware threats and social engineering are also among the most dangerous attacks that a gamer can fall victim to. To minimize such risks, you need to take precautionary measures against such activities/practices. Here are some cybersecurity tips for online gaming.
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#1. Have Strong Passwords
A strong password is your first line of defense against potential attacks on your account.
Hence, you need to update your login credentials frequently. Also, when creating a password, it is important to ensure it is difficult for hackers to guess/crack. Ideally, your password should be a unique and complex combination of special characters, numbers, and random letters. You also need to have a different password for each of your online accounts. Do not use your email password or social media platform password for your gaming account.
#2. Update Software
Always take out the time to install software updates as soon as they’re available. This helps close security gaps and makes you less prone to malicious online attacks. Even when you are not prompted to install a new patch or update, check for it manually. You wouldn’t want to put yourself at risk due to negligence or laziness.
#3. Use a Dedicated Gaming Server
If you don’t have a dedicated gaming server, it’s time to consider investing in one. It is the best way to enhance security. Besides, it also gives you more control over your online game experience. Having an exclusive gaming server would increase your speed, reduce lags and thereby improve your overall performance.
#4. Download Games From Credible Websites
Whenever you want to get a new game, be wary about the website you’re downloading from. When it comes to security, not all websites are equal. And the last thing you’d want is to download a game with a hidden malicious file that ends up compromising your account.