make sure you are safe playing online

Whether it’s action and adventure, problem solving or strategy, there are a vast array of games on the internet. Demand for online games has increased rapidly in recent years. 

Game choice is just one reason so many people are now playing online, ease of access is also a big factor. Gamers can now log on their laptops to access casino games online at sites like Virgin Games in just a few clicks or download a smartphone app and play puzzles like Candy Crush while on the go. 

As demand for games has increased, so has the number of cyber criminals looking to cash in on this lucrative market. Players that do not protect their identity and make poor decisions online are at risk of becoming a victim of fraud or other crimes. 

However, there are plenty of actions you can take to make yourself much more secure when playing games online. Here are five top tips for doing just that:

Use a Secure VPN Connection

Using a VPN when gaming has many benefits for players. Firstly, it can help to prevent DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, these involve forcing a system offline by flooding it with requests. A VPN hides your IP address, preventing the DDoS software from finding you. 

A VPN is particularly important if you are gaming over public WIFI. A lot of public WIFI is unencrypted, meaning that your data could be insecure. VPNs are easy to download and are often available via a subscription service. 

Keep your personal information to yourself

We often share much more personal information about ourselves over the internet than we may realise and this puts us at risk of identity theft. One tip is to avoid using your full real name as your username in your game profile, a cybercriminal could use this to find you on social media and learn more about you.

Do not share your location with other gamers over the microphone or in chats. The people you are talking to may not be who they say they are and may not have good intentions. Be safe and avoid revealing any information that could make it possible for others to locate you at your home, work or school address. 

Many sites have privacy settings so you can edit who can see your profile. Make your profile as private as possible and be aware that it is possible for someone to reverse search your profile picture and find any other sites (such as social media) where you have shared it also. 

Remember to always log out of your online gaming account after playing

This tip is very important if you are using a shared device such as a computer at a public library or cafe. Logging out of your gaming account will help to prevent others from accessing it. 

Even logging out on your personal smartphone or computer is a safe measure to take in case you lose these devices or have curious children able to make in-app purchases when your back is turned. 

You can save your password in a password vault if you are going to struggle to remember it. Do not write passwords in the notes section of the device or on a post-it note, this seems obvious but many people do this for their own convenience. 

Watch out for viruses or spyware from downloads

One wise saying that you may have already heard of is “…if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”It applies to many things that you might find online, including game cheat codes or sites claiming to have software that will give you an advantage.

It is possible that this software download contains a virus or spyware and will give cybercriminals access to your device. From there they can perform nefarious actions such as accessing your online banking. 

Having an ant-virus software installed on your device can help to prevent this from happening. Like VPNs, you can often subscribe and pay monthly for these services. If you play games on online sites, this is a small expense that could help avoid a lot of problems.

Report cyberbullies

Lastly, it is unfortunate that a small number of users on any gaming platform do not behave in a fair or respectful way to other users on the site. They may utilise online chats to berate and offend other players and use the anonymity the internet provides to get away with it.

If you are a witness to this, you should be careful not to get drawn in and block and report the user to the site immediately. Gaming platforms have moderators who are trained to deal with these incidents and take actions such as removing offensive content and blocking accounts.

Playing games online is a fun way to pass the time and a great way to socialise with people you might not meet in everyday life. By taking the correct precautions you can enjoy the experience, stay safe and keep you personal and financial information secure. 


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