A report from NortonLifeLock revealed that nearly 330 million internet users across 10 countries became cybercrime victims in 2020, while 55 million others were victims of identity theft. That just proves that the imminent danger of any online activities is always present.
Identity theft, invasion of privacy, and cyberbullying are just some of the most common dangers one may face when using the internet.
So if you’re a hardline online gamer, you should follow some safety precautions before you delve into the online world in order to protect yourself and your data.
Here are some important things you should remember to practice safe online gaming:
- 1 1. Understand the risks
- 2 2. Browse safely
- 3 3. Make sure you have a secure internet connection
- 4 4. Keep personal information limited
- 5 5. Keep your privacy settings on and updated
- 6 6. Use strong passwords
- 7 7. Use an antivirus program and make sure it’s updated regularly
- 8 8. Be careful who you talk to online
1. Understand the risks
In anything you perform online, just like in the real world, you should at least know the risks you may be taking. You should understand that once you open untrusted websites or device applications, there are increased chances of risks.
Also, knowing the risks should allow you to avoid them or know your next steps if you ever encounter such.
2. Browse safely
Since you already know the possible risks you’ll encounter, you should already take precautions in browsing.
For instance, most cybercriminals use lurid content as bait as they know some people may be tempted to open such contents and let their guards down. If that happens to you, you won’t only expose yourself to malware, you may also put your data at risk.
You may also encounter announcements of you winning something even though you didn’t join any promos. That’s something too good to be true!
Making one false move online will lead you to the pitfalls of cybercrimes like money laundering and scams. These are some of the reasons why there’s always a discussion as to whether or not online gambling should be banned, not knowing they are only products of unsafe browsing.
3. Make sure you have a secure internet connection
You should only use your home internet connection as much as possible. Going online using public WiFi will lessen your device’s control over its security, making you susceptible to cybercrimes. Experts warn that when you’re in doubt of the internet you’re using, avoid logging into any of your accounts, especially important accounts like your bank credentials, email, and whatnot.
You may further improve your safety by using a secure VPN connection. VPN gives end-to-end protection and ensures nobody can monitor or access the data you are exchanging.
4. Keep personal information limited
Most websites don’t need to know your important information like your home address, your social security number, or your relationship status (unless it’s a dating site), so you shouldn’t be all-out in giving your information.
That’s one of the positive things about online gaming, you may play using a nickname or choose to be anonymous.
5. Keep your privacy settings on and updated
The internet can learn so much about you through your browsing and social media activities. That’s the data online marketers use to know you and your interests, so do hackers.
You may protect yourself from prying eyes by using your web browser and device’s privacy settings. Legitimate and major websites also have privacy-enhancing settings you can take advantage of to level up your protection.
6. Use strong passwords
Password is one of the frontlines in protecting your data, however, it can also be your biggest weak spot. Usually, people use passwords that are easy to remember such as their birthdate, nickname, or go as easy as “password”. While that helps you keep your account, that may become the gateway for hackers to penetrate your account.
Use stronger passwords that are hard for cybercriminals to decipher. Use unique and complex passwords that are at least 15 characters long, with a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters.
7. Use an antivirus program and make sure it’s updated regularly
Having an antivirus program installed on your device and keeping it updated will safeguard your data by detecting and removing most malware. Antivirus programs may also block spam and ads like the ones mentioned on the second item.
Make sure you’re updated with your current operating system’s updates, including the apps you use. That should give you further protection.
8. Be careful who you talk to online
Finally, be careful who you talk to online. Remember that your internet friends may not be real people, they could be bots or some people phishing on you. It’s very easy to create a fake identity online, as easy as stealing someone’s identity. That’s why, as part of your precautionary measures, you should not trust anyone on the internet.
There are a lot of things that the internet can offer that we can be thankful for. However, as much as it is beneficial, it can also ruin your life. So you should follow the guidelines highlighted above to ensure safe online gaming or internet usage. Remember, never let your guards down!
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