HomeSportsThe main risks to your online safety when gaming and how to...

The main risks to your online safety when gaming and how to mitigate them

Maintaining online security and privacy should be a top priority for online gamers as hacks and attacks by malicious third parties become more frequent and sophisticated. By recognising the main risks and following a few best practices, you can secure your online accounts and keep your personal information safe.

Account takeover (ATO)

There has been a surge in the number of account takeover (ATO) attacks on gaming platforms in recent years. These attacks occur when hackers obtain a user’s username, email address and password and then sign in with the malicious intent to change the account details and use any listed credit or debit cards to make online purchases. In many cases, it is difficult for the victim to retrieve their accounts.

To reduce the risk of this happening, you should activate two-factor authentication (2FA) where possible, as this login process requires an additional code be sent to a smartphone number or email address. You should also regularly generate new, more complex passwords for your online accounts and try not to store any bank details or PayPal accounts permanently.

Phishing

Fraudsters can be more direct in their methods to extract information from victims. Phishing is still one of the most popular attacks online in which attackers use messaging systems to trick people into sending sensitive information. They then use this for illicit purposes such as demanding money with the view to reselling the account and info on the back market. You can guard against phishing by never clicking on links in emails, texts and messages unless you are sure they are from a trusted source.

Viruses and malware

Playing games at unsecured sites can lead to malicious software being downloaded and installed on your computer. This is a greater risk if the site in question does not use the HTTPS protocol to ensure that users’ data is protected. You can reduce these risks by only visiting reputable sites when online betting in the UK. By browsing the latest offers from bookmakers at a leading comparison site, you can take advantage of bonuses and free bets and also have the peace of mind that you are signing up with a safe and secure bookmaker.

DDoS attacks and data breaches

Brute force methods such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are among a new wave of methods used by third parties. DDoS attacks attempt to overload a service and take it offline, which prevents players from accessing games. Data breaches, where an attacker targets a company or website rather than individual accounts, are also a risk.

What can I do to reduce the risk?

Following personal security and privacy best practices can help to keep your data and information safe when online. You should try to:

  • Install at least a basic antivirus program like Microsoft Defender to detect malware and block exploits
  • Always be cautious about clicking on links and files in emails and messages
  • Change your passwords regularly and using different ones for each site
  • Activate 2FA and other more advanced security systems
  • Download and install updates for your operating system regularly
  • Try not to store bank details on accounts
  • Only browse safe and secure websites
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