Online Security Risks: How to Protect Yourself When Gaming Online

words Alexa Wang

Online gaming is now big business. As the internet became more accessible during the 1990s and 2000s, the world came to us – wherever we were. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the internet’s growth is the gaming market.

As a form of entertainment, it’s now more valuable – and popular – than film and music combined. But it’s not immune from the security risks that are present when you’re online. And it’s no less important to protect yourself when gaming.

Security Risks: Gaming

The Growth of the Video Gaming Market

It’s now estimated there are 2.7 billion gamers worldwide. According to Accenture, the global sector is thought to be worth upwards of $300 billion – both directly and indirectly. So, we’re looking at some impressive numbers here. To put that into some perspective, the IFPI Global Music Report said that total recorded music sector revenue for 2020 was a mere $21.6 billion.

The bottom line is that each year more people than ever before are gaming online. It’s no surprise that Covid-19 lockdowns drove gaming’s growth further and faster, and as the number of people gaming online increases, so too potential hackers’ threats.  And today’s consoles are more than just gaming platforms – they’re fully connected media platforms.

What Can You Do to Reduce Security Risks?

Smart apps, internet browsers, and platform-specific gaming stores and networks; there are many touchpoints at which your online security can be compromised. In the first instance, one of the best things you can do to reduce the risks is to keep your systems and software up to date. You can also ‘top up’ this security with a VPN for PS4, Xbox, PC, or whichever platform you use.

Other ways to reduce security risks can be just as simple. Use a password to log in to your gaming account. Make sure it’s a secure one – using numbers, letters, and special characters. Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of steel too. And don’t be tempted to make an unauthorised purchase – you should always use official stores or download sources when online.

Gaming Security

The Dangers of Falling Victim to Hackers

If all this talk of security seems like overkill, it really isn’t. It would help if you kept yourself safe and protected online at all times. The risk of not doing so can be very serious. PlayStation users in 2011 were left exposed by a huge data breach where hackers managed to steal the addresses, names, and credit card data from 77 million accounts worldwide.

Even more recently, there are concerns about an alleged data breach involving PS4s and PS5s.

There are, after all, many tricks and techniques that hackers can utilise. As technology evolves, so too do the methods of people looking to expose any security risks. So, why take the chance? Protecting yourself is fast and easy. It’s a two-minute job. And, by doing so, you’re making sure that online gaming remains fun and enjoyable – not scary and untrustworthy.

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