After Christmas and the Holiday season many are eager to break in their new gaming consoles. So eager in fact, they may forget to set up their gaming network safely, leaving themselves vulnerable to gaming fraudsters hoping to take advantage of the eagerness of young gamers. In 2016, $16 billion were stolen in fraud cases. Internet scams are one of the major contributors to this statistic, that includes gaming. Although it’s tough to hold back your excitement, it is well worth it to protect your console and your information before enjoying some Christmas day Call Of Duty.
There are many different tactics used to reach your confidential information through games. Those tactics depend on what they are after. Most involve a game of witts, convincing people to hand over their username and passwords which put either their own or their parents financial information at risk. Sometimes phishers are simply after your in game upgrades that you’ve purchased to sell on a blackmarket site. Regardless, it is never smart under any circumstances to share your username and password with anyone, even if they claim to work for the game or gaming system company. These companies will never ask for that information. It’s easy to think you could never be fooled of such things,but their tactics are getting more and more deceiving.
Although it’s less common, hacking does happen. Some claim that it isn’t possible yet due to the lack of viruses created to infect gaming consoles. The reality however, is that it’s much like Apple and Mac products. The only reason those viruses don’t exist is because it wasn’t worth hackers time to develop such viruses. As these products become more popular the likelihood of viruses being created to infect them will grow. And although those viruses don’t exist yet, your user information could still be obtained via malware of other devices on your network.
Luckily there are easy ways to protect yourself from viruses not only on your console but on all your devices in your house. The first place to start, and likely the best way, is to equip your home router with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This will keep your IP address and information safe through encryption. The other major advantage is the decreased susceptibility to latency. With a VPN you are less likely to experience lags from high traffic on game servers. This greatly improves game experience.
Using a VPN for all of your devices individually will also ensure that when you leave the security of your home network, your personal information will be safe, whether you are playing a game, or logging into your bank account on an unsecure public network with your phone or laptop.
Another very simple practice to keep your console and information safe is to change your passwords periodically(every 3 months) as well as using unique passwords for each account. This is a last line of defense. It helps to keep a book of your passwords near your console to keep track.
Everything you do to protect your network creates another wall that makes it more difficult and not worth the effort for hackers and phishers. It’s up to you to decide the level of security you’d like to use but many think the piece of mind and increased game experience is well worth the extra work it takes to secure your network and information on your console and devices.
Site Manager – Personally I never leave my credit or debit card details on any of my accounts this including PayPal, I use password Generators and store all my passwords in a secure place that is not on my PC. Simply put it, use common sense and dont think it will never happen to you.