3 Potential Security Risks of Online Gaming

We’ve all played video games at some point in our lives. Whether you’re tirelessly trying to level up in Candy Crush or playing a Battle Royale like PUBG, you’re part of the gaming world. While online gaming provides people with a large platform to interact with players worldwide, there’s a dark side to it.

From online predators and identity theft to cyberbullying, online gaming exposes you to a wide array of security risks. We’ve prepared a comprehensive list of these associated risks to alarm you of the dangers that lurk around when you’re firing arms in Call of Duty.

1. Cyberbullying meets gaming

For a lot of people, the ability to escape into the online world — away from real life — is therapeutic. This anonymity however, cuts both ways. Studies show that players often take advantage of this and spam global and personal chats with derogatory comments and harmful messages. This activity is known as “whispering”.  

Reports show that 1 in 2 online gamers are bullied. Cyberbullies target gullible players via texts and web calls hidden in the app. Though a bully’s actions may be in violation of the game’s privacy terms of service and they can easily be blocked, it’s always a good idea to nip these security risks in the bud.

2. Personal information is at risk

Often, fraudulent websites offer games at comparatively low rates; gamers think it’s a great opportunity, but what they fail to realize is that these websites can easily misuse financial information. The National Cyber Security Alliance website, Stay Safe Online, recommends gamers never reveal their personal details like names, location and age. This can not only lead to identity theft, but is also a great opportunity for cybercriminals to target innocent players.

Therefore, make sure to never give away personal information, and keep your usernames different across different gaming sites. Also, perform a factory reset on your gaming console before throwing or giving it away.

3. Malware infections

Skilled hackers modify legitimate gaming apps with Trojans and upload them on reputed marketplaces like Google Play. One such incident was reported where the Trojan was used to take control of the user’s Android device and conscript it into a “botnet”. In order to avoid suspicion from victims, hackers use delay timers as malware. The bottom line is that a hacking nightmare can be masqueraded as a legitimate app — so it’s important to research the game developers and go through reviews before downloading games. Moreover, invest in a powerful security solution that offers comprehensive malware detection services.

At Lean Security, we offer end-to-end mobile application penetration test and web application penetration testing to reduce the chances of security breaches. If you’re interested in working with us, get in touch via call or website.