Hackers have figured out that gamers are highly vulnerable to having their accounts and privacy compromised It’s not a simple task to keep yourself safe……hackers are creative and insidious. There a number of steps that a gamer can take to make sure that his/her welcome bonus casino user data, account information and financial info stays safe and secure.
Online Casino Safety for Gamers
If you are playing an online casino video game that is running on a poorly protected server, you can assume that any information that you share online can be found and used against you. The most glaring example of this is the 2011 Sony Playstation welcome bonus casino hack when hackers got into the company’s database and accessed personal information of over 70 million users including their names, addresses, passwords and credit card details.
Large companies are now much better protected but small gaming companies may be less well protected. Check out the protections that the company offers before you sign up and provide personal details.
Connecting to a public or unsecured WiFi to play your games can expose you to risks. If you are already logged in, the hackers can’t access your information, even if s/he is using the same WiFi channel. But if you need to log in anew with your login credentials or if you must submit your credit card information via the unsecured WiFi, it’s as good as handing the hacker the information directly. Don’t use shared WiFi.
VPNs are another vulnerable source that allow hackers to get ahold of your personal data. Some VPN companies are notoriously insecure – before going online with a VPN, check out the company’s credentials as a trustworthy provider.
Many people think that they’re saving money by buying a pirated game but they’re actually opening themselves up to bringing malicious malware into their home. Malicious code can be used to access log-in details and that can put your passwords or payment information at risk. These pirated games are generally “gifted” as free or low-cost games but in the end, the price that you pay can be much higher than the price of the game itself.
Many games including multiplayer games, encourage gamers to invest massive amounts of time in their game characters. Hackers inject ransomware into a third-party, unlicensed power-up which they sell for “cheap” or provide as a give-away. That “gift” then infects your base game so, once again, that cheap purchase becomes expensive as the hackers hold the entire game ransom until they are paid off.
Still other “money-savers” that will have you paying through the nose are the “free content” or “beta versions” that hackers, posing as game developers, offer. These phishing attacks make your gaming device vulnerable to the keylogger who is able to record any log-in information or passwords that you enter. The hacker gets access to your account and can then steal the account in order to ransom it back to you.
There’s another type of phishing attempt which involves email phishing. In email phishing you receive an email that seems like it’s from a reputable gaming company but it really isn’t. The phishing email may ask you to “reconfirm your account” or “confirm account details” but when you click on the link that is in the email, the information that you enter will be used to break into your account.
The top gaming companies have joined companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo in creating two-factor authentication (2FA) that goes a long way towards protecting user-data. If you are using a company that uses 2FA, you have a better chance of protecting your information.
With such companies, log-in is accomplished by combining two different tasks – for instance, entering a username + password and combining that with a code sent to your personal phone via text messenger. If you are with a non-2FA provider, either be VERY careful or change providers.
Privacy Issues in Gaming
Privacy activists are increasingly concerned about the ability of gaming hardware and software to invasively compromise the privacy of gamers who are playing on their personal gaming devices.
In fact, activists say, if you have a gaming device in your house, you can assume that you are being spied on, even when you aren’t actively using the device. Some companies collect the information from this surveillance and sell it to advertisers while others collect data for their own purposes.
If you are a gamer and want to protect your privacy, be aware of ways in which your space can be breeched.
There are a number of ways in which an online connection can infiltrate your home. Microphone and camera access is one of the most insidious because, even though you’re aware that your device includes these tools, you probably don’t realize that both the mic and the camera can transmit data about what is being said and done in a room even though no one is using them at that moment.
If you have a mic or a camera – which all of today’s gaming devices have – these devices can actually turn on automatically. So while you may think that nothing is running, in fact, what you are saying and doing is, in fact, being monitored and tracked.
Either turn off the device completely when you’re not using it or cover the camera with a piece of tape and be careful not to speak near the mic.
Through the gaming device your location can be tracked and the company can sell that information to advertisers. If the device picks up the fact that you are visiting a specific store, the game company can send that information to the store’s advertiser and – voila! You will soon begin to see advertisements for that store on your screen.
Together with location, the company can track the amount of money that you spend in-game which tells it what kind of ads you should be seeing.
In addition to securing your hardware, privacy advocates suggest that you set restrictive privacy settings, limit social media connections with your gaming activities and provide gaming companies with as little personal information as possible.
Safe gaming is possible, even in today’s world where companies collect as much information about you as possible if you are careful and proactive in guarding your privacy and security.