Hey guys, in this article, we will discuss how to stay safe when gaming online. So keep reading.
While online gaming is a form that can bring thrills, fun, and socializing in equal amounts, it is also a type of entertainment that can see players exposed to various threats. Those threats are often related to information, but they can also penetrate deep down into mental or financial health.
This means that it’s important to understand how to stay safe when gaming online. Let’s run down some of the key considerations for gaming online today.
How To Stay Safe When Gaming Online:
Never Reveal Personal Information
While gaming can see you meet and communicate with a variety of individuals from across the globe, it’s always a good rule of thumb to keep your online and real-world identities separate.
Thus, you should seek to be referred to by your username, keeping your true identity a secret.
Furthering this thought, you should never reveal any personal information online to other players. Whether that be where you live, your employer/school, or your financial situation.
Ultimately, it’s worth keeping games as a place to relax, unwind and take on another identity.
Learn In-Game Protection Tools
Most games have a variety of in-built tools to help protect their players from any sort of harassment.
From muting voice chat or squelching chat to completely blocking and reporting other players for misconduct, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with these systems to ensure you can quickly and easily get out of any uncomfortable situations if they ever do arise.
Protecting From Account Hacks
With any online system, there is always a chance that your account may fall victim to a targeted hack. This can come in many forms, from individuals from elsewhere trying to guess your password to friends/family logging into your account without consent.
The best ways to protect you from such account hacks are threefold:
- Set a unique password for each and every account.
- Never reveal your password to others.
- Enable two-factor authentication, to ensure that only you can ever log into your account.
Scams And Phishing
Phishing emails are not at all exclusive to gaming communities, but that does not mean that gamers do not fall afoul of them.
When traversing emails, forums and online information regarding your favorite game remember the mantra “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”.
Chances are, that email which promises you 100,000 gold for free is not real, the same goes for that website which boosts your character for free.
Never Losing Your Login
We all fall victim to forgetting our passwords every now and again. However, you shouldn’t fall into the old-school method of writing down your passwords on a piece of paper or notes app as this can lead to others gaining access to your account without your consent.
Instead, consider using a password manager to store your passwords. Password managers, themselves protected and encrypted, ensure you can easily gain access to all your passcodes without needing to remember them all.
Avoiding Excessive In-App Purchases
While games are a joy to play, it is no secret that many rely on aggressive in-app purchases from loot boxes to lives. While these can enhance gaming experiences when used in moderation, it is in a game’s interest to make you want to purchase more and more from their in-game store.
Thus, it’s important to be aware of each and every purchase you make in order to keep a tab on how much money you are piling into any given game.
After all, you don’t want to wake up months down the line to realize you have spent a large portion of your savings on buying in-game cosmetics.
If you are struggling with in-app purchases, consider consulting the given game’s parental settings which can often put a tab on how many in-app purchases can be processed.
Gaming addiction is a real thing, whether we like it or not. While research suggests certain groups are more likely to develop gaming addictions, we can all fall victims of addiction.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a gaming addiction there are several things to consider.
- Do not blame. Addiction, like other psychological conditions, should not be blamed on the one suffering from it. Productive positivity is a far more effective method of dealing with addiction.
- Assess the Impact: While many will spend hours playing games, one telltale sign of addiction is the impact on other facets of life. If productivity, behavior, mood, or financial situation are waning due to excessive gaming, you can use these to set goals for improvement.
- Monitor Habits: As with anything, the more you know about it the better you can act. Monitoring how the individual games can help to identify potential ways forwards.
- Set Limits: Providing hard limits of how much gaming can be done in any given timeframe can help to curb addiction. Many devices have such settings built-in.
- Provide incentives: While you can set limits, it’s worth accompanying these with incentives. For example, one could be rewarded for gaming under a certain limit each week—giving them a reward of some kind.
- Find alternative things to do: As with any addiction, one cannot simply stop, they must do something else. Thus, locating other things to do with the newfound time is paramount.
Overall, it’s important to stay aware while gaming, ensuring that your time is not only enjoyable but incredibly safe.
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