6 Cyber Threats for Gaming: Time for a Proactive Approach

Gaming is one of the most popular hobbies nowadays, and there is no denying that video games are pure fun. They allow us to be creative, solve puzzles, learn coordination, and make friends worldwide. The best part is that games are more accessible than ever before. You can enjoy your favorite titles on a console, a PC, or a mobile phone.

However, the gaming world comes with challenges, and threat intelligence is important. Gamers could face various threats whenever they log in. Luckily, you can protect yourself from dangers if you know what you are dealing with. Let’s begin!

1. Phishing

While phishing links are commonly sent through email, gamers might encounter them in a chat. These could be hard to recognize because you simply don’t expect phishing to happen while enjoying a game with your friends. These messages might appear valid and promise access to DLCs or free video games. But if you don’t know the person who has sent them to you, it is better not to open any unknown links.

As previously mentioned, phishing links can be distributed through email. So, if you receive any video game offers that sound too good to be true, there is no need to check them out. Cybercriminals can make those emails appear like they were sent by a legitimate online business or a gaming service, but always look at the content and the email address. These can help you recognize a phishing attempt right away.

2. Doxing

Doxing has become a serious problem in cyberspace and gaming. Once someone’s personal information is published online, that person can be bullied and harassed by strangers for a long time. Doxing can lead to swatting, which includes sending law enforcement to someone’s address by calling in with a false accusation. Unfortunately, swatting had resulted in death before.

Is there a way to prevent doxing? Remember not to use the same password for all your accounts. Hackers often exploit login information, so make sure your passwords are not easy to guess. Also, don’t share too much detail about your personal life on social media platforms. Additionally, you can protect your IP address by using a VPN. Even if you get doxed, cybercriminals won’t know your exact location.

3. Malware

Purchasing a game from an unofficial source will save you a couple of bucks, but you might also end up downloading malware. Cybercriminals often target popular games such as Minecraft, The Sims 4, and PUBG and include viruses along with mods, DLCs, and other files. Once malware infects your computer, hackers can steal your personal and financial information.

The best way to avoid malware is to purchase games from official stores such as Steam and Epic Games. If you can’t afford a game’s full price, wait for the sale. Steam offers great discounts several times a year, and you can score incredible titles for just a couple of dollars. Those who can’t wait should try online alternatives, but make sure to read reviews for a page.

4. Data breaches

Hackers sometimes go straight to the source and attack the game publishers, which can be catastrophic for the users. For instance, Epic Games had a massive security breach in 2018, and cybercriminals targeted the user accounts of Fortnite players. They sold the information on the dark web, made purchases through the stolen profiles, and even eavesdropped on conversations among players.

Epic Games identified the problem – an old part of the website that hasn’t been updated since 2004. Of course, cybercriminals used it as an opening to gain access to the database. Luckily, Epic Games has since upgraded its cybersecurity. Even though game publishers are the targets, you can still improve the security at your end by using unique passwords for each account.

5. Identity theft

Making friends with fellow gamers who have the same interests as you is amazing. However, the chat option can be yet another way for cybercriminals to learn more about you and eventually steal your identity. Sharing your general location with someone you met in-game might look harmless, but you should be concerned if they ask you more specific questions, such as your actual address.

Of course, not everyone is out to get you, and you can still create meaningful connections while gaming. But be mindful of the things you share with your online friends. They don’t need to know your phone number right away. Also, don’t send your social media profiles as soon as you meet someone because your photos can tell them a lot about you. Build friendships over time and see who you can trust online.

6. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a huge problem within the gaming community, and players have been speaking out about it for years. Being targeted online is hard for adult gamers, let alone teenagers and younger kids. Anyone can be verbally attacked and harassed in video games. It often involves insults, but cyberbullies will try to get personal information from their victims to dox them.

What can you do in this situation? Block and report the user who has been bullying you in-game. Gaming platforms have strict cyberbullying rules and will deal with the issue. Cyberbullying can be harmful to mental health, so it’s okay to take a break from gaming. Also, talk to your loved ones and tell them about the problem. Your parents and friends can provide you with the support you might need.


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