More of us play video games, but do we know what’s happening to our Privacy?
There are people who play video games. And then there are gamers. But don’t fool yourself, both are susceptible to risking their online privacy. Gamers have a much higher risk of being hacked simply by spending hours upon hours providing more content for hackers to access. But the risk is still there if the game you play requires any kind of login information or in-game credit card payments. Who knew your morning commute puzzle slider game was putting your online identity at risk? Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on and how to protect yourself and still have fun leveling-up.
What Digital Content Is At Risk?
The first and foremost digital content that is at risk for players is their personal information. Mobile app games are especially deceptive. Don’t let your guard down. Many apps, not just game apps, unnecessarily request access to settings that have nothing to do with the game. “Candy Crush needs access to my mobile contacts...what!?” This is a common tactic of how “free” games datamine the value of your content which they then make a profit off of your content. While it seems normal to just hit “agree,” remember that the game will still function fine if you click “Deny.”
How Hackers Hack Content Creators
In addition to personal information, gamers (a term describing the subculture of people deeply invested in video games) are also susceptible to their video game characters being held hostage for ransom, stolen virtual items, and entire accounts being hacked. It is not uncommon for gamers to sell or trade their video game content after investing sometimes hundreds of hours acquiring a rare virtual item or creating a powerful character. At the same time, many players also spend real money to purchase virtual items. So often, credit card information is also attached to the account. All it takes is a careless gamer downloading info-stealing or keylogging malware for a hacker to gain login credentials to an account.
How To Protect Your Online Identity
Think twice before you enter your real personal information online. Does this game really need to know your actual first name and address to play it? We suggest using a pseudonym and creating a separate email handy that is just for online games. Unless you are really confident about what you are doing, avoid downloading any kind unverified or third-party files as these can contain malicious viruses. Do you make purchases in your game? If not, avoid entering your credit card information as well. You can also take a proactive approach and install reliable security software on your mobile device, desktop, or gaming console (if possible).
Word Up: Level-Up Your Content Lifestyle
It is always important to protect your Online Identity and Digital Content. Video games are an often overlooked area for online privacy as it is easy to become immersed in the game at the expense of anything else. We believe everyone’s digital content has value no matter if that digital content is images, text, or content created within a video game. When you receive the value of your online content, we like to call that the Content Lifestyle. Visit Swomi.com to learn more!