The gaming industry, as well as eSports, are undoubtedly the favorite pastime for younger generations. Thousands of gaming enthusiasts stream on Twitch, and large eSports tournaments are becoming more popular than regular sports. Almost everyone has at least one favorite video game they play religiously.
Gamers use online platforms such as Battle.net or Steam to purchase new titles. They are a very convenient way to support the gaming industry, interact with your online friends, and have all of your games in one place. Unfortunately, gaming could also be quite dangerous. Cybercriminals do see the gaming industry as a potential target. So if you want to know more about the role of cybersecurity in gaming, keep reading!
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Why is the gaming industry attractive to hackers?
Playing video games ten or twenty years ago was completely different than today. But easy access to the internet revolutionized the gaming industry. So instead of playing offline by themselves, gamers can hang out with their friends in-game. Online platforms such as Steam act as game shops. Players may enter their financial information, order a video game, and download it to their device.
Dozens of online platforms offer gaming-related services, and some of them do require some financial information from their users. For instance, Valve did admit that Steam was hacked back in 2011, and there was a minor data leak. However, it’s fair to say that they have upgraded their security since. Therefore, it is no surprise that cybercriminals are constantly trying to gain access to the database. They would be a treasure trove for them.
Large eSports events are also potential targets for cybercriminals. These tournaments draw tens of thousands of people in one place, and they stay there for days. It opens up many possibilities for hackers. Most visitors use public Wi-Fi networks that can be easily breached. It can reveal personal as well as financial information to hackers. The visitors usually don’t even notice they are using a compromised Wi-Fi network.
The most common cybersecurity threats in gaming
Data theft is the most common cybersecurity threat for gamers. Hackers who gain access to a user’s account on one of the gaming platforms can steal the financial information, but there is more to it. For instance, selling valuable in-game items is not uncommon. These transactions are almost untraceable since buyers often use cryptocurrencies.
You might be wondering now how these cybercriminals break into accounts without breaking a sweat. Phishing is a super popular method that doesn’t always look suspicious. Hackers might create an account on one of the online gaming platforms and send out links. If a user clicks on it, a fake link will ask that they confirm the login information. Once it is typed in, their username and password are in the hands of a cybercriminal.
Malware targets individual users or entire online platforms. Gamers can pick up malware on various websites that offer DLC, maps, or cheat codes for video games. This malicious software can affect the performance of a computer or even shut it down completely. But cybercriminals also use it to collect valuable personal data from an infected PC.
How to protect yourself from cybercriminals?
The entire gaming industry has to work on identifying and eliminating cybercriminals from their platforms. Gaming apps should have multi-factor identification to ensure all users are safe and stop unauthorized access to the accounts. It is crucial to create a safe space for gamers. Some of them are young and don’t understand the principles of online security. It’s crucial to learn more about online safety and be prepared to keep your data safe at all times.
Of course, gamers could also take matters into their hands and be more observant while interacting with other players. Using antivirus software is highly recommended, but other apps like a VPN might help too. They are very accessible and user-friendly. There are several excellent VPNs out there to choose from, such as NordLayer. It’s crucial to choose a high-quality VPN and secure your internet connection. There are more cyberattacks than ever before, so don’t forget to plan a great strategy to stay safe online.