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Playing It Safe: How Online Gamers Can Dodge Cybersecurity Risks

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The online gaming ecosystem is thriving at the moment. Rising popularity has driven a demand for developers to create new and exciting titles. Technological advances also mean that even some graphics-rich games are available on mobile platforms. The thriving digital landscape has resulted in created career opportunities, too. E-sports and live streaming content can bring in substantial income for professional gamers.

Nevertheless, it’s also important to recognize the risks here. As a gamer, you have great access to a rich and diverse online environment. Unfortunately, this also means unscrupulous people also have significant access to you. Cybercrime continues to be a prevalent issue in the online gaming community. Indeed, gaming has seen a particular jump in digital fraud attempts in recent years. 

To get the most positive online gaming experience, it’s vital to take steps to protect yourself. Let’s run down a few best practices that can help you play it safe.

Keep on Top of the Trends

The trends for gaming come and go, from new and exciting massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) to the exclusive or customizable player character skins. The same goes for online gaming cybersecurity. Approaches are regularly changing and shifting, as are the tools to deal with them. If you’re pursuing online gaming in the long term, you’ll find you have the most positive experiences if you take the time to keep on top of these shifts.

Do your due diligence when it comes to the full range of techniques criminals are utilizing. At the moment, some of the most prevalent trends in cybersecurity include ransomware protection, cyberespionage mitigation, and malware prevention. It isn’t just valuable to be aware of these techniques as potential solutions to the current online risks. It also helps you to identify where the most concern is for the industry. You can then adjust your actions and the tools you use in the most relevant ways to reduce your vulnerability while gaming.

It’s also vital to understand what the trending targets for different types of cyberattacks are, too. You’ll often be surprised how hackers are focusing on games or tools you wouldn’t expect to be a priority. This could include ransomware attacks on cloud storage software that could impact your online assets. It might involve game platforms from specific countries subjected to politically-motivated distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. Take the time to not just commit to research on news sites and gaming forums. Build your network on social media to have access to current issues at the earliest possible opportunity.

Adjust Your Behavior

Cybercrime is not reliant on external actions alone. Indeed, you’ll often find criminals’ best tools for hacking in online gaming are the gamers themselves. It can be easy to become complacent, particularly when you’re operating in an online space you’re confident in around people you generally trust. It’s vital that you put effort into adjusting your own behavior to be more security conscious.

This includes some of the basics, like keeping strong password protocols. Make sure these are varied, using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Importantly, change these frequently and not just to a minor variation to the same password. Your passwords should also be different across all your gaming accounts. This helps to make sure if one account is breached, the rest aren’t at risk. You might also find it useful to occasionally check your passwords and associated email addresses on Have I Been Pwned to make sure they’re not involved in a recent hack of an online platform you use.

Your cybersecurity behavior also needs to extend to being tailored to the type of devices you use for gaming. Your gaming PC is not necessarily going to be subject to the same issues as your cell phone. Indeed, your cell phone can be putting you at greater risk due to the fact that a greater range of sensitive information is usually stored on it. Think of all the metadata associated with your socials, any banking apps you use, and even cloud services you use for remote working. Your phone is a hub of assets cybercriminals are attracted to. As such, it’s wise to adopt mobile-specific behavior. Use virtual private networks (VPNs) when in public areas. At the end of its life, wipe your phone’s memory and dispose of it securely to prevent others from accessing your personal information. 

Utilize Protective Tools

As an online gamer, you’ve likely invested in various tools to support your gaming. New PCs, updated graphics cards, perhaps even a comfortable chair. It’s important to place some of your focus on tools that keep you safe while gaming, too. Your adoption of these will likely depend on your level of use, but there are options to suit most budgets and needs.

Some consoles will already have a certain amount of security protocols already loaded into the device. Most come with options for multi-factor authentication. This involves not just using a password but also having a single-use code sent to your phone for authentication, too. While this can be a little inconvenient, utilizing it can be a vital form of protection. 

For PC gaming and smartphones, it’s wise to utilize a solid antivirus platform. There are also an increasing number of software options here that are specifically aimed at the needs and challenges of gamers, like McAfee Gamer Security and Webroot Secure Anywhere. There are also some good free options available. The important thing is to make certain your chosen platform is regularly updated to account for the current trends and methods in cybercrime.

Conclusion

Online gaming has become a fascinating and exciting aspect of our digital landscape. However, it’s also vital to make sure you protect yourself from cybersecurity risks. Stay on top of the trends to ensure you’re aware of the current security concerns and popular targets. Adjust your personal behavior to adopt safer practices while gaming. Wherever possible, establish strong cybersecurity tools to put up extra barriers for potential cybercriminals. By taking a few relatively simple steps, you can have the most positive online gaming experiences.

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Gaming

Amazon’s great Fallout TV show is nominated for 16 Emmys

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Critics and fans alike went crazy for Amazon’s take on the famous role-playing game series Fallout. There were a lot of nominations for 16 Emmy awards, including Best Actor and Outstanding Drama Series. The show was able to reach audiences outside of gamers and got a lot of attention from the industry.

Eurogamer has been keeping track, and now that all the votes are in, Fallout is tied for fifth place with 23 nominations for the 76th Emmy Awards, which are put on by the US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. With 25, The Bear has the most nominations, followed by True Detective: Night Country with 23, and Shogun with 19.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Walton Goggins is up for Best Actor for his performance as The Ghoul. Although games will always be our first choice, it’s great that adaptations of games don’t have to be awful, and we can’t wait for the next season of the shows.

Are you surprised by how well Amazon’s version of Fallout has done in the mainstream? Is the curse of movies based on video games finally over? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Gaming

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Gaming

Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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