October 29, 2022
By Burton Kelso
The technology expert
A few weeks ago I was about to broadcast a live TV interview and received an alert that someone from out of state was trying to log into my Sony Playstation account. Luckily, I had safeguards in place to ensure my account was secure. If you think the game only involves your kids playing Fortnite, Roblox, you’re wrong. It is also about the games you play on your smartphones, such as casino games, Wordle or Words with Friends. Everything you do online is under constant siege and at risk of attack. Criminals are always on the lookout for people with lucrative online accounts and digital data, including accounts and apps that you and your family use for gambling. What can you do? Check out these quick and easy tips to protect your gaming accounts.
Why would someone want to access your game accounts?
Whether you or your children play free or paid online games, criminals can extract a lot of value from your accounts. Do you remember all those rewards and upgrades you collected during many hours of gameplay? These rewards could be worth hundreds of dollars in prize money to cybercriminals. To make things more enticing, criminals know that most gaming accounts aren’t difficult to access because many of you aren’t using even the most basic cybersecurity strategies. Parents need to be extra If a cyber crook is able to take control of your gaming account, here are some of the things they will be able to do:
Sell your personal information on the dark web
Use your game account to launder money
Use your personal information to personalize phishing attacks to get more information from you.
Do credential stuffing and use your game account login credentials to access more of your online accounts, such as social media and financial accounts.
Read the conversations that you and your children direct message to find more information about you. If you’re a parent reading this, you need to take extra care because kids usually share too much information in direct messaging.
Log in to your account and use your registered card to buy gifts or games for themselves or their friends.
How can hackers break into your game accounts and those of your children?
- Data Breaches. Every once in a while, a gaming company will be compromised in a data breach. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to protect yourself as it depends on the cybersecurity of the company storing your data. That’s why it’s important to change the passwords for you and your child’s game accounts every few months.
- Credential stuffing. If your login credentials were leaked in a large-scale data breach on the dark web, criminals will use this information to log into other online accounts that you and your children use. If you use the password of your game account and online financial accounts, you will be in huge trouble.
- Weak passwords. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating your gaming account is using a weak password. One that consists of a single word that anyone could find in a dictionary or using common passwords such as “password1234”. Use passwords instead. A passphrase is a phrase-like string of words used for authentication that is longer than a traditional password, easy to remember, and difficult to crack.
- Malware. Criminals can trick you and your kids into downloading malware in the form of a new game or an upgrade. Hackers know which games are popular with kids and adults and they can use them as bait.
- Phishing. Scammers can send you phishing emails using your email address to trick you into thinking they are from a legitimate gaming company. By using this method, they can steal even more information from you like your passwords, payment information, home address, etc.
- Cyberstalking or cyberbullying. Online stalkers and bullies can be quite mean and relentless online and can target you and your children. Things they do that can put you, your children and your information at risk include finding your IP address, finding your location, posting your address on gambling websites as well than following and harassing you on social media and other gaming sites. The information that cyberbullies share online can end up in the hands of a cybercriminal, which makes your life and the life of your children quite dangerous.
How to protect yourself and your children.
Your family can take simple steps to make life harder for pirates. This is how:
- Enable 2-factor authentication. When you enable 2-factor authentication or 2FA for your gaming accounts, it’s harder for criminals to access your information. If a criminal gets your login details and logs in from their location, you will receive an alert on your phone that someone is trying to log into your game account.
- Use VPN for gaming. A VPN or virtual private network creates a tunnel that blocks anyone trying to spy on you while you play.
- Use an antivirus and update it regularly. Windows and Macintosh users have built-in antivirus. No need for third-party programs for protection. For your smartphone, you don’t have to worry because viruses usually come in the form of a malicious application that you may have downloaded on your smartphone or tablet.
- Familiarize yourself with phishing techniques. Phishing is the most common way for criminals to gain access to your devices. The easier it is for you to recognize phishing attempts, the more likely you are not to fall for them.
Online gambling for you and your children doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Remember that criminals are looking for every way to gain access to your valuable information. You might think that hackers aren’t interested in your gaming accounts, but with video games grossing over a billion a year, you can rest assured that scammers will be trying to get a piece of the action and of your personal data.
Want to ask me a technical question? Send it to [email protected] If you prefer to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I like technology. I’ve read all the manuals and want to make technology fun and easy to use for everyone! If you need onsite or remote technical support for your WindowsMacintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices and anything connects to the Internet, do not hesitate to contact my team. to Integral. My team of friendly tech experts are always ready to answer your questions and make your tech useful and fun. Contact us at www.callintegralnow.com or by phone at 888.256.0829.