Few people are as familiar with the vast online ecosystem as the gaming community. Here, players craft an entire interconnected world around their digital conquests. They trade, form bonds with other players, make in-game purchases, and sometimes spend years cultivating their gaming personas.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals have found ways to use this to their advantage.
Logically, the more time someone spends online, the more likely they are to become the target of bad actors. Adding to the risk, gamers are often asked to input credentials to log into accounts, set up payment options, and sometimes refrain from using VPNs so they don’t disrupt the stream of information. Cybercriminals know this and double down on attacking gamers.
According to a 2021 report by Norton LifeLock, 33% of U.S. gamers report that their gaming accounts have been the target of some sort of cyberattack. Meaning that one in three gamers are at risk.
In some instances, hackers will access the sign in credentials for the gamer’s account, and then sell this account to the highest bidder. People are willing to pay for established accounts because it enables them to start at a higher level, gain access to valuable in-game items, and effectively get ahead without having to do the work.
When it comes to gaming, there is an economy that’s unique to the ecosystem. It’s not just about stealing identities or gaining access to financial resources. It’s also about the value placed on items or characteristics that exist only in the game.
Hackers know that gaming offers a more diverse way to profit due to the value assigned to components (items, abilities, etc.) by gamers themselves. If someone is willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a rare item, it only makes sense for hackers to use this as another way to exploit people.
Not all of these real financial transactions are protected within the gaming software. Users may share sensitive information, banking credentials, or account credentials outside of the game unknowingly believing that they are purchasing something legitimately.
Hackers can use these transactions as an opportunity to gain access to this information through a variety of ways. Sometimes they may use false payment links or spoofed login pages to gain access. Other times, they may claim that they need some personal information to complete the sale, or make the sale but fail to deliver the asset at all.
Even gaming software that stores payment information is vulnerable if someone hacks and gains access to the account. With so many ways to steal and profit off of gamers, it’s important that people take steps to protect themselves.
When it comes to protecting your privacy in the gaming world, there are several things you can do:
Gaming doesn’t mean compromising your privacy. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy your gaming experience and skip the data breaches.