Online gaming can be a dangerous pastime. IT security firm ESET offers top tips on keeping your little gamers safe
Online gaming is rife with cybercriminals looking to exploit unwitting players who are purely absorbed in reaching the next level in their game.
The fact that your child is only using secured gaming platforms like Steam marketplace just does not cut it. You daughter or son can still be duped by small-scale scams such as infected screensaver files or ‘cheats’ poisoned by malware. This applies to the gaming fora as well. Some of the threads can be full of trick advice, and in-game chat channels play host to predators waiting for that click on a ‘bad’ link that infects a device.
ESET has 9 tips for parents and their little gamers:
1. Toughen up the browser, making sure it is up to date and the phishing warnings are enabled.
2. Install a security solution and keep it up to date.
3. Credentials are valuable, teach your children to provide their credentials only to reliable websites and online services.
4. Don’t trade game code online. Trading game code via fora, or even auction sites, is asking for trouble as there are numerous scams to avoid.
5. Public gaming – if your kids are going to a gaming event or even a social gaming event, they should change their usual password for a temporary one while there, then back to the usual one when back home.
6. Help them pick the right username, having a name that gives away that someone is young, can attract unwanted attention.
7. Cheats and hacks are even worse than you think. Up to 90 percent of the commonly-traded cheats are infected with some form of malware or adware, according to some estimates
8. Don’t befriend people on Facebook to get game ‘freebies’. Fan sites are full of people offering to befriend anybody for just that purpose – and it can speed up the game experience – but it leaves children with ‘friends’ who they actually do not know.
9. People on fora are not your friends. You don’t know these people – so why trust them?
How much do you know about Internet safety? Try our quiz to find out!