Thousands of new players enter online gaming world. Technology and good internet has given gamers the opportunity to explore millions of games readily available on servers, just few clicks away.
Although online gaming is a source of entertainment and creativity for many, but for some it’s a source of earning some criminal profit. To safeguard and stay away from these vicious profit sharks, every gamer should be aware of the risks associated with online gaming.
So, to make sure every gamer is safe online, we have enlisted online gaming risks and the practices you can follow to avoid them.
Online Gaming Risks
There are various risks involved in online gaming, which may leave you with system instability, hardware failure or in crash down. These gaming risks could be both, technological and social. Let us look at some of these online gaming risks that may harm your system.
1. Technological Risks
There are several technological risks that could harm your system and personal data, like:
Viruses & Worms
Viruses and worms can enter in your system through an email message, by a malicious or corrupt program or maybe by some hidden files in game setup that you downloaded.
Any infection could be of use for installing a malicious software on your system. Many attackers use malware to redirect users to fake & bogus web site or emails with malicious program attached in it. In online gaming, they attack games that depend on chats or voice communication to lure users to visit these websites.
Inauthentic & Illicit Gaming Servers
There are several inauthentic gaming servers running, which users might not be aware of. When any gaming software is downloaded from these servers, it may possibly contain any vulnerability, such as, trojan horses, adware or spyware. By exploiting vulnerabilities, attackers would be able to read files from victim’s system, can crash games during online play, or can even gain access to your personal information.
Bug free game is a dream for any developer. Every code written has some bugs and loopholes. Insecure game coding could invite attackers and can introduce system to unknown vulnerabilities.
2. Social Risks
When we talk about social risks, there could be many. Most of the online games allows players to talk, chat or send messages during gameplay. However, malicious intruders can even use social interactions also to try to gain access to computer to exploit vulnerabilities. By exploiting vulnerabilities, intruders can:
- Capture personal information
- Steal identity
- Steal credit card information
- Inappropriately contact children by pretending to be another child, setting up meetings, or tricking them into revealing personal information
How to Protect Yourself Against the Risks?
Online gaming is fun and could be safe and enjoyable too. But, only if you practice and implement the basic principles of computer security.
We have mentioned both general security practices and game-specific security practices to make sure there are no loopholes left while playing your favorite game.
General Security Practices
Key practices of good & personal computer security include the following:
- Use antivirus and antispyware programs.
- Be vigilant about opening files attached to email messages.
- Verify the authenticity of downloaded files and new software.
- Configure web browsers securely.
- Use a firewall.
- Identify and back up your personal or financial data.
- Create and use strong passwords.
- Patch and update your application software.
Gaming-Specific Security Practices
There are some game-specific security practices as well, which should be implemented and used by every gamer playing online games. Let us have a look at some of the game-specific security practices.
1. Administrator Mode Risks
Some of the games require computer to be in admin mode. In this case, make sure the admin access provided to the game vendor should be legit and authentic. Sometimes, free download files could also contain malicious programs. When you give admin level permission to these games, there is a slight possibility that an attacker could gain complete control of your system through it.
3. Play Games On The Official Site
It is always recommended to play game on official website. Most gaming websites are secured and authentic. Playing on an official website may save you from landing on malicious web page.
Conclusion: Risks Associated With Online Gaming
There are tons of positive aspects of online gaming. As it is said, not anything and everything is perfect, so there are some negative aspects too. Gaming in the current era has surely gained immense popularity and is a major source of entertainment and revenue as well. So, it is very important to educate yourself with the risks involved with the online gaming and how to keep yourself and system safe from them.