Playing Online Games Safely
Many computer, mobile device, social network and console video games can be played online against other players over the Internet. Players are allowed to communicate sometimes using text messages and sometimes using a microphone. They share many of the features of online chat forums such as unfiltered discussions and anonymous players.
Online gaming is fun. When players play online games, they face various risks and common cyber threats. Examples are: disclosure of personal information, identity theft, data breach, phishing, or malware infection
To be a smart gamer, you should follow these tips:
Understand the game's ratings, privacy statements and other related terms and conditions before joining online game community. Many (online) games now have a rating awarded by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Select the game suitable for you. You should also understand the privacy statements and how the game manufacturers or providers will use your personal information.
Online gamers are played interactively in real time. Bear in mind that other users may try to collect your information, commit fraud, or steal your cyber assets while you are playing. They may also use inappropriate language in communications and sometimes try to insult you and other gamers. If you encounter such situations such as offensive language from a gamer, you can "mute" or "block" them in most online games. Alternatively you may report the case to the game site master or seek advice from your parents and teachers. Learn to chat online safely.
Be sure to agree a playing schedule and rules with your parents. Spending too much time playing online games will affect your health and impair your schedule for studies and other activities. Don't get addicted!
Never give out any real personal information to strangers, such as real name, home address, age, gender, pictures, etc. Choose a user name and create a personal profile that does not reveal any personal information.
Fraud can be found in online games. Watch out for scams and cons when buying or selling of cyber assets. Find out how to protect yourself from fraud.
Make sure you keep your game software up to date. Most multiplayer games automatically update themselves before letting you connect.
Be wary about downloading any unauthorised program relating to the game.
Third party game plugins might provide extra fun and help to advance your game level quickly. However, in many cases, plugins contains malware such as virus or Trojan horse. You should install anti-malware software to protect your devices and make sure the latest definition file as well as the detection and repair engine have been applied. Learn how to protect your computer.
You may have played a particular online game for a long time and collected a lot of experience, points and assets in the game. These items become your property, and you have to learn how to protect your account and password so that other people cannot break into your account and steal your stuff, such as using strong password, adopting two-factor authentication, and using different passwords for different accounts, etc.
Online game characters and properties can become commodities and are traded in real world market, for real money. Find out how to trade properly and shop safely in the Internet world.