Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How to Play Online Games Safely?

You can play online games on-the-go on the Internet today. It is very easy access Internet anywhere in today’s world. Children and teenagers love to play online games on their parent’s smartphones and tablets or even the home PC. However, it is not always safe to play online games with hackers and malicious software waiting for a loophole to infect your system.

Let us have a look at some solutions for how to play online games safely.

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Tips for Safe Online Gaming

Games today have come a long way from arcades and joysticks. You see realistic graphics, hyper realistic gaming world, immersive user experience, etc. makes it difficult to pull oneself out of the gaming world. Kids are captivated by the online gaming world as well as adults who spend hours trying to complete level after level.

Online gaming may be entertaining, yet it is covered by a mired of ‘virtual crime’. Multiplayer games are often struck with problems such as identity theft, hacking, fraud, as well as brain washing players to harm themselves or others around them.

So, how to play online games safely and keep your family safe? The following tips will help you stay away from the virtual world dangers to some extent.

Stay Anonymous


It has been found by a study carried out by McAfee that 60% of parents worry their financial accounts could be hacked using their children’s online gaming account. The problem often lies with online gaming ID. In order to play games, one needs to create a user profile. If you are using a public computer or public Wi-Fi, even accessing games from your private network, try to create a fake ID or avoid displaying your personal information. This personal information includes your name, date of birth, email address, etc. Keep a unique and difficult to hack password for all your accounts.

Beware of Phishing


Parents often worry their kids may unknowingly click on links that may lead to malware on their computer. Often ads and links pop-up on the screen offering access to locked content or game cheat that help clear game levels. This is quite tempting for gamers young and adult alike. These unverified channels often sneak malicious software and virus into their links and harm your device or gaming console.

Keep an Eye on the Game Site Comments and Reviews


Often reading the comments and reviews of particular gaming site helps you understand if it a legitimate site or no. Online users show no mercy if they come upon even a tiny flaw in a website. If the website leads to too many ads, pop-ups, unnecessary links to click on, means it may lead to malicious content reaching your device.

Avoid Clicking on All Links


Gaming sites often have pop-ups, ads, or links to other pages. It is not necessary you click on each and every link you come across. You can change your browser settings to avoid pop ups, or wait for the tiny [X] to appear next to the ad or link. Click on it and stay away from harm.

Check for SSL Certificates


Whenever you visit or revisit any gaming website, check if it has a valid SSL certificate installed. This will ensure no other person can read or access the data transmitted from your computer and the gaming website. Thus, keeping you safe from MITM Attacks.Ask your kids to check for the lock symbol next to the website name in the address bar and clicking on the Green seal in the address bar to check the type of encryption offered.

Check Age Ratings


As parents it is important to make sure your kids are playing age appropriate games. T times, they may play games that are inappropriate for their age group. Games today have too much violent as well as mature content that may influence immature or young players. Certain platforms like Stream do not always show age ratings. Thus, make sure your kids are playing games that are appropriate for their age and appear comfortable to play with.

Turn on Privacy Settings


Games at times need to be accessed by login to your social media accounts. Your kids may use your social media accounts to access games. In this case, you need to keep your profile settings private or hidden. Keep the settings such that any new user or player requires your permission to chat or see your profile. This way you can filter unwanted as well as dangerous eavesdroppers from accessing your account and chat with your kids.

Block Unwanted Players and Report Them


If you feel uncomfortable playing with someone in a multiplayer game or feel threatened by them, block them immediately and report their profile to the website. Speak to your kids as well and let them know in case they come across such hostile players they should immediately report it to their parents, elder siblings or their teachers.

Beware of Online Grooming


Online grooming is a serious problem faced by parents all over the world. Some people trick kids and young adults into believing whatever they say. They convince them to send them their nude pictures and videos. They may even trick children to meet them for sexual favors. Certain people play mind games with children and young adults convincing them to think of themselves as losers and even challenge them to commit suicide. Keep an eye if your child is suddenly using or speaking to someone on Skype, or other chatting apps more than necessary. Any changes in behavior needs to addressed even if you feel it is just a part of their growing pangs.

Overcome Addiction


Too much of something may lead to addiction. Similarly spending too much time gaming is also a kind of addiction. If you or your loved one spending more time gaming, avoid all social commitments for gaming, forgetting to eat, drink, and even sleep due to their gaming addiction, then it is time for intervention. You need to consult a counselor, or doctor to help yourself or your loved one take control of their life and overcome addiction.

These are some tips on how to play online games safely. Never reveal your credit card information to websites that do not have SSL certificate. Make sure you have a strong anti-virus installed on your devices and not just their free version. Avoid clicking suspicious links and reach a gaming website directly by typing their address in the address bar. Taking a few precautions will help you and your family stay safe in the gaming world.

References:

1.https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/online-gaming/
2.https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Online-Games-Safely
3.https://en.softonic.com/articles/how-to-safely-play-online-games
4.https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/consumer/play-the-game-tips-and-tricks-for-safe-online-gaming/
5.http://www.witszen.com/tips-for-playing-online-games-safely/
6.https://blog.drhack.net/how-to-play-online-games-stay-safe/

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