Staying Safe While Gaming Online: What You Should Know

by Staff & Contributors

Playing your favorite games online should be enjoyable, not a threat. However, if you don’t protect yourself, you can expose your data, damage your computer, and even put your safety at risk.

In this article, we’ll go through some top tips for all gamers to know, to help keep you safe while gaming online.

 

Choose your username and password carefully

You may not think a username could be dangerous, but the name you decide on could expose you to danger online and offline if you don’t choose carefully. Never choose a username that includes:

  • Your full name
  • The name of the place you go to school or where you work
  • Your date of birth
  • Any part of your address
  • Your mobile number

If you’re gaming with friends, they may already know your personal information, such as your address and date of birth. That’s fine, but the situation is different when gaming with people you don’t know. Never share any personal details with fellow gamers, no matter how friendly they may seem.

Most people are aware of warnings about using secure passwords, and they can sometimes seem like a nuisance. However, taking the time to set a password that isn’t easy to hack is an excellent and important use of your time. Choose a password that’s long, preferably at least 15 characters. You should also alternate the use of upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters if they’re permitted. If you’re worried about remembering your password, learn tricks for memorising secure passwords. They make life a lot easier.

If you have the option of using a profile image, using an avatar is best. It stops people from knowing what you look like. Plus, it’s fun to create a different version of you. If you have to use a real image, ensure it doesn’t include any identifying features such as a school or work uniform.

 

Keep your PC secure

The security of your PC may not be your first concern when you want to spend time beating your high score or challenging your friends, but not paying attention to security can be costly. Not keeping your firewall up to date and checking for updates and patches makes it easier for people to hack your computer and send viruses. It’s better to spend some time securing a PC running Windows than to spend a lot more time repairing the damage that not doing so can cause.

Cheat codes can also cause this damage, so don’t be tempted by them. Struggling to get to the next level of a game can be seriously annoying. So, it’s understandable that using cheat codes is tempting. The problem with this is that seemingly helpful cheat codes can be a cover for spyware and viruses that cause serious damage. It’s just not worth the risk.

 

Create a safe gaming environment

Gaming is a great social activity, so using your webcam and voice features with friends is fine. It’s a good way of catching up if you haven’t seen them face to face for a while. But you shouldn’t use these features with people you don’t know outside the gaming environment. If you must use the voice feature, always mask your real voice.

You should also never use a website or app that you don’t completely trust. If you do, you could be putting your computer, mobile device, and personal data at risk. This applies to any form of gaming and related activities. Even sources like Google Play aren’t 100% guaranteed, so it’s essential to check app reviews and only download an app when you’re sure it’s safe. The same applies to websites where you deposit money, such as e-commerce stores or gaming and betting sites. For example, you can recognise a safe betting site in the UK by checking that it has the UK Gambling Commission logo and is fully licensed. Industry reputation is another crucial factor, as well-established sites with good reputations will be safe places to play. Whether you’re a fan of football, baseball, or even handball, you also want to look for sites with a range of sports to choose from, competitive odds, and a generous welcome offer. However, make sure you read the terms and conditions of these bonuses before signing up to make sure they’re fair. You should always read independent reviews such as those that indicate safe betting sites to know protections are in place. Taking a few minutes to do this research keeps you safe while you play.

Taking steps to stay safe while gaming is worth the effort as it reduces the risk to your computer, the data you store and share, and your personal safety.

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