Account Hijacking: A Dangerous Threat For Gamers
Many gamers still have a hard time believing that cybercriminals would target us. Caught between expensive platforms and some occasionally awful fellow players, you’d think we would deserve a break.
Unfortunately, account hijacking is about as old as video gaming itself. We see it all the time. Whether it’s somebody stealing login credentials or any other attack, it is a real threat that puts our digital and real lives in jeopardy.
Here’s what you need to know about account hijacking and what you can do to stay safe.
Accounting Hijacking: A Big Risk
In the past, account hijacking often involved somebody directly stealing your user credentials. This might have been as harmless as a friend grabbing your online ID to something more serious.
But now the threat has grown as hackers aim their sights higher. A few months ago, over 300,000 Nintendo accounts were put at risk after a data breach.
But then, of course, there was the EA attack. This time 300 million accounts were compromised. But what does this mean exactly?
The implications for gamers are grave and can include:
- Identity theft
- Loss of in-game items
- Account loss
- Account suspension
- Leveraged access to connected accounts or ones with similar credentials
All of these threats are serious. But they can be greatly minimized and potentially avoided entirely by doing the following.
1. Get a VPN
VPNs or virtual private networks have already gained a lot of popularity in the gaming world. Most often, they are used to access gaming content from different regions from where the players live.
But they are even more important for improving your safety. VPNs both mask your IP address and encrypt your internet connection, making them an essential part of any gamer’s “cybersecurity plan.”
In addition to preventing your information from leaking, they can also prevent DDoS attacks making them essential. Check out the VPN Black Friday deals going on right now to get one ASAP.
2. Improve Your Password Security
We cannot say this enough. Never ever reuse your passwords. Whether it’s for gaming, social media, email or anywhere else, doing so puts you at immense risk of attack.
All passwords must be lengthy, complex, and unique for each account. This is actually easier to do than you realize. Just use a password manager to help you generate, manage, and store these credentials in a secure digital vault.
While you’re at it, make sure you have two-factor authentication turned on as well to further enhance your security.
3. Watch What You Click On
Did you know that 92% of malware is delivered via email? But it’s not like the hackers advertise and say, “this email is fake and contains malware.”
They are actually very good at disguising themselves as people you know or trusted platforms and vendors. Hackers have created imitation versions of real platforms like Steam tricking people into giving up their login credentials.
That’s why you must verify senders are who they claim to be and that links and files don’t contain malware. Always scan all files before you download them and ensure you go to the real version of a website.
A good hint is whether there is a little lock icon in your URL bar. That means it’s an HTTPS site, which is a good sign that it should be safe to visit.
4. Be Wary of Fellow Gamers
You know this one. This should be in your head from years of gaming. Still, it’s easy to forget when somebody promises you something great like a massive power-up or a cracked version of a popular title.
We’re not saying you can’t have friends in the digital world but take everything they say with a grain of salt and use caution if they ever ask for something unusual.
5. Stay Informed
The gaming community is pretty tight. If there is a new threat circling the internet, they’ll be the first to know about it and talk about it.
So, stick close to the community and pay attention to the forums and news channels. Doing so will not just alert you of risk but maybe even connect you with some new titles and playing buddies you wouldn’t have thought of.
Stay Safe From Account Hijacking
Account hijacking may be on the rise, but it is possible to stay safe. Arm yourself with these tools, and you’ll prevent cyber-attacks and enjoy your games in peace.