There are now over 3 billion active gamers worldwide, a third of whom play video games online. From multiplayer battle royale titles to classic card games and casual entries, gamers have access to a range of genres wider than ever before. But while online gaming has many perks, cybersecurity can be an issue as hackers and scammers are rife on the web. So, here are five tips for gamers to stay safe online.
Create strong passwords
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Granted, drafting a new password every time you register on a website may sound like a hassle. But a unique password is one of your best protections online. And a handful of straightforward steps are enough to ensure your password is staying secure online.
First, remember that the longer the password, the better. So, combine upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols, leaving out any accented character. Avoid rehashing your username or hinting at any personal information.
If you’re switching between multiple accounts, you may also want to use a password manager. Whether through a specific app or on your web browser, such programs store all your passwords securely.
Set up two-factor authentication
Enabling two-factor authentication helps you add an extra layer of protection to your digital accounts. Often shortened to 2FA, this system requires you to enter an additional piece of information after typing your password.
Several users typically receive a unique authentication code on a dedicated app or a text message. On mobile devices, two-factor authentication may also boil down to a keystroke pattern or a fingerprint. 2FA may even come in the form of a secret question.
Whichever option you choose, the bottom line is that 2FA relies on something only you would know or own. In the unfortunate cases of losing your smartphone or having your password compromised, you can rest assured that no one with malicious intent can unlock your account.
Cybersecurity isn’t all there is to enjoying an online gaming session. While most gamers are bound by a common interest in sharing tips and tricks, the occasional bully can undermine an otherwise friendly sense of community.
Malevolent users may leverage their anonymity to flood chat boxes and social features with hateful messages. Cyberbullying in gaming often starts with derogatory comments and foul language before it can evolve into plain harassment.
The majority of online gaming platforms offers players means of reporting toxic behaviors, such as block-and-report functions. Besides, gamers and parents may find practical guidelines on government websites.
Do not disclose any audio or video
Video games are a perfectly valid way to connect with friends, relatives, and even strangers. Teaming up with players halfway across the planet may, more often than not, lead to enduring bonds. In fact, online games have been akin to a social lifeline in recent years. Still, some features should be kept between close friends only.
It is best not to activate webcams with users you don’t know personally. Amicable as they might appear, you might not know who sits on the other side of the screen and what use they may have of any photograph or video skit. As for vocal features, prefer using a voice changer if a game requires voice control.
Pick reliable platforms
Online gaming may be a popular hobby, but it is also a profitable industry. And not all websites are made equal when it comes to reliability. To download games, your best action is to use reputable places like the App Store and Google Play. You may also visit a developer’s website to keep in touch with any official news and updates.
If you have a thing for gambling, though, online casinos may be trickier to navigate. However, too-good-to-be-true bonuses and the lack of a license are definite red flags. Reviewing platforms might also come in handy.
Experts have scoured the internet to single out trustworthy gambling platforms, such as the best $1 deposit casinos in New Zealand. Such casinos are ideal for players reluctant to put too much money at stake. Better yet, they often reward newcomers with juicy welcome bonuses. So, even first-timers can safely try out dozens of machine slots and timeless tabletop games.
Gaming is a fun pastime, yet some caution is in order for online games to stay that way. But the good news is, all it takes is some common sense and a few simple tricks to remain safe online.
Photo by Tham Yuan Yuan – Pixabay