Gaming is a multi-billion industry that is why it is a lucrative target for cybercriminals as well. Gaming giants on the other hand have resources to protect their cyber infrastructure from cyberattacks but what about naive gamers with no knowledge of cybersecurity?
It is a fact that gamers are under constant threat of phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals choose gamers as their target for several reasons including stealing their login credentials and credit card data as most gamers have to link their payment cards to buy games online or for the purpose of in-game purchases.
Amongst the various ways that hackers may employ to steal your account credentials, phishing attacks are commonly and widely used. Oftentimes, cybercriminals may be impersonating an online gaming company while sending you an email that requires you to follow a link that asks for your login details.
That is an obvious red flag that you should be cautious of especially if the email header shows that the email did not come from the vendor since most phishing attacks take place using fake emails.
However, the best way to approach such a situation would be by directly contacting the company yourself via chat support instead of clicking the link in the email.
Another popularly used way of exploiting gamer accounts is by infecting malware on a device that could attempt to steal your credentials or take control of your computer device. These malware can come in many ways, for example, malware known as Baldr was a cheat program for players looking for a quick win or just an edge over the competition in Apex Legends and CS:GO.
According to researchers, the download link for Baldr malware link mainly distributed through the details under YouTube videos but it also found its way into very specific groups on Telegram and Discord.
Buy games from reliable sources
If you plan to download GTA V your destination should be RockStar Games SocialClub or STEAM for CyberPunk or Dota. You can also check out Gamecamp where you can compare various video game prices and find the best deals possible to save you money.
Scan your device, downloaded files, and links
One of the most important things you can do to prevent malware attacks is by making sure you have a solid anti-malware solution on your PC. You don’t always have to spend money on these either and you can check out some of the best free and reliable antivirus solutions here.
Furthermore, it is always a safe decision to avoid installing software from unrecognized links sent via emails, instant messaging, etc and instead, you should always use the official app store or game or store to install the games.
You can also use VirusTotal to scan malicious files and links.
Securing your home network is always a good idea and on the other hand, using public Wi-Fi should be something you must always avoid or connect to a VPN. Since public Wi-Fi is a shared network, anyone using that same network can potentially monitor or capture the traffic going to and coming from your device.
Although it may seem like a good idea to enjoy playing an online game on your smartphone at your local Starbucks or Mcdonald’s, a cybercriminal may be sitting a few tables away from and could potentially hack into your device and steal your credentials.