Online Gaming Safety

  • Published: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020

Billions of online video accounts have been breached. Online gaming is a lucrative target for hackers. Cybercriminals will steal user accounts and sell them on the black market. The market for stolen accounts is even bigger that the gaming industry itself.

The accounts are typically compromised using brute force or password cracking. Since many users will use the same passwords on multiple sites the crook will use username/password combinations obtained from other breached databases.

Some gaming companies will put in a certain level of protection for its players such as login limitations. But miscreants have methods to bypass those safeguards as well.

Since payment information is tied to the player’s game it makes the stolen accounts very valuable. And not only is payment information lucrative but so is the top-tier gear (skins, loot boxes, etc.) obtained in these games. Even if the player is using a free version of an online game, their username, password, email address and other personal information could be at risk. Victims could be subjected to spam, phishing, locked accounts or using the stolen usernames and passwords in attempts to access other games or databases.

If you have been affected by one of these attacks the first thing you should do is change your password. Check other websites where you have used the same password and change those as well. Monitor your credit and bank statements for any fraudulent activity.

Steps you can take to ensure safety and privacy when playing games online:

  • Select a username that does not include any personally identifiable information.
  • Choose a strong and unique password.
  • Use an avatar for your profile picture instead of your real picture.
  • Be careful about what information you share with other gamers.
  • Check your privacy settings.
  • Keep track of what you are spending on in-app purchases and be wary of purchasing from websites outside of the game itself.
  • Be careful of downloading cheats or mods from websites. These could contain malware.

Resources:

Gaming – Stay Safe Online - Tips for kids, tweens & teens and parents
Stolen Fortnite Accounts Earn Hackers Millions Per Year