How To Keep Yourself Safe During Online Gaming

Coming home to gaming on your favorite computer may be a pastime you always look forward to, but how do you make sure you, and your loved ones, are safe when gaming online? A vast variety of games now allows players to mix with real-life players across the globe on their servers, but keeping yourself safe should always be a priority.

From popular games to large multiplayer platforms such as PSN, Steam, and Origin, to personal servers and games with your friends, it’s important to be aware of the risks of playing online and how to protect yourself against them. Below are six key steps to help keep yourself safe when gaming online.

1. Keep Your Personal Details Private

It almost goes without saying in today’s modern world, but it’s important while gaming that you don’t reveal too much of your personal information. This includes your full name, address, and any other identifying information such as where you work or attend university.

2. Make Sure You Play On A Secure Server

If you’re starting a brand new game online, you should always check the server you are using has the correct encryption and authentication before you begin to play. If your server doesn’t have these, it can be vulnerable to hacks which can attack the databases of the gaming site.

This means your personal information, such as login details, email address and payment options if you have a subscription, are available to be stolen. Using websites dedicated to finding the best game hosting for your games is a great way to ensure you’re playing on a secure server to protect yourself and your friends.

3. Beware Of Cyberbullying

While you may think cyberbullying is solely aimed at trolls on social media, it can also affect your game experience if you’re playing a multiplayer game online. Most online servers now have dedicated regulations against cyberbullying to try to protect their players.

Therefore, it’s vital for your enjoyment and your own mental wellbeing that you not only report any cyberbullying to the game site if it’s possible but you also immediately block any player who is causing you distress or anxiety. Cyberbullying can include nasty and malicious remarks about you, to intimidating threats designed to stop from playing the game.

4. Use DDoS protection

If you are running your own hosting server for gaming you must take advantage of security firms providing DDoS protection services. A DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. Remember don’t underestimate DDoS attacks since it’s an increasing threat and gaming giants like EA, PSN and Blizzard had a hard time tackling them.

5. Be Careful With What You’re Downloading

It might be all too tempting to download the latest cheats or update to your game, but if you’re illegally pirating such software, there is the possibility it contains a virus or spyware that will infect your computer. Recently, hackers have started spreading gaming mods infected with cryptocurrency miners therefore, you should only download cheats and updates from verified websites or the game creator. 

6. Install & Update Antivirus/Antispyware Software

As with being careful with what you’re downloading, you should always ensure your antivirus/antispyware software is installed and up-to-date. Good practice would be to check for updates to your software before you begin your game every time. This will keep any new malware that may not have been protected against before from attacking your files. You should also try to use a computer for gaming that doesn’t contain any personal files, such as banking details and confidential emails.

Image credit: DepositPhotos/DaLiu

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.