Recently, the gaming industry has suffered a serious upsurge in cyberattacks. The numbers have tripled over the last year since the COVID-19 global pandemic.
According to Akamai’s State of the Internet: Gaming in a Pandemic report, almost 250 million web applications were attacked within the gaming industry alone, representing 4% of the 6.3 billion attacks across the globe. And those are only the ones we have heard about happening.
Gaming is fun for many and an actual source of income for others. So it’s crucial to know how to keep yourself and your gaming software safe from cyberattacks. Not only can intruders gain access to your personal banking information, but penetration can also lead to even bigger problems – such as identity theft or fraud.
Here are a few key ways you can ramp up your online security.
Don’t Forget About Firewall Software
Firewall software is your first line of defense for your computer and other gaming devices. It’s the initial setup that one would hope prevents potential hackers from breaking down your virtual wall. Although it’s not your only method of defense, it’s a start to keep away hackers who are not highly skilled or experienced, detering them from the start.
Keep Your Software Updated
Antivirus software will certainly help, but simply having it on your computer or gaming device won’t be enough to protect you from malicious and opportunistic hackers. Keeping your main software up to date with the latest version will ensure you keep up with advances in cybersecurity that developers are constantly designing.
This isn’t exclusive to your malware software. It also means making certain your browsers and main computer software are regularly upgraded as well.
Only Use Trustworthy Gaming Sites
Sometimes it’s a matter of the user who puts himself in a vulnerable situation for a potential cyberattack. Cybercriminals are familiar with in-app purchase models and will do what they can to exploit users and get what they want.
Many third-party platforms for gaming are not very solidly protected, nor do they make an effort to seek improvements in their security. That’s not how they make money or where their primary focus lies.
Sometimes it’s evident from their website or how many pop-ups you encounter. But for users who aren’t as well versed, a website may appear harmless.
Do your research and be on the lookout for anything that verifies they’re a reputable company, such as licenses and whether they run on an encrypted connection.
Secure Your WiFi Connection
Leaving an open network for your wifi is like inviting robbers into your unlocked home. It’s vital to set up a secure wifi connection protected by a difficult password that’s not easy to figure out.
Don’t be tempted to use your middle name and your birthday. Browsers like Google Chrome will suggest complex passwords for you to use when you set up login credentials.
Get Defensive with Your Passwords
Too many people still use a classic Excel spreadsheet to manage their passwords or have them listed somewhere obvious on their computer. This is a prime way to make yourself the potential victim of a cyberattack.
Fortunately, safe and secure options are available right at your fingertips – literally. Multi-factor authentication that also includes facial recognition or your fingerprint to gain access is a great way to start.
There are also several safe password-manager software options available to store all your most secure login credentials.
Whether you are new to the gaming arena or a long-time gamer who’s paid to stream, it’s crucial to educate yourself on the many ways to improve your cybersecurity. It might even be worth hiring or outsourcing your security, especially if you work remotely from home or if gaming is your full-time means of income.