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Computer games – Rules of the game for digital security

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If you’ve never heard of Red Dead Redemption, Fortnite, Days Gone, or Forza, you may not be familiar with some of the greatest video game successes in recent years. It turns out that there is by no means one recipe for success.

Regardless of whether it is a racing game, shooter or strategy spectacle: If the developer meets the zeitgeist, the game offers engaging game mechanics and tells an exciting story, the probability of commercial success is significantly increased. That is why there are video games on the market for all conceivable target groups. The commuter finds just as much a pastime for his smartphone as the professional gamer. So it is not uncommon for a lot of money and even more hours of play to be invested.

All online gamers are exposed to the same threats to their IT. The entertainment and the projection onto a game character make users forget their caution, while at the same time computers, game consoles and mobile devices are increasingly networked with one another. Insufficiently secured accounts, poorly protected servers or manipulated pirated copies do the rest to make some video games the focus of fraudsters and criminals. The consequences range from data loss to account blocking and financial damage.

Although the games industry is also a driver of innovation, for example in the area of ​​copy and account protection, there are always cases of data loss or system hacks. For this reason, it makes sense to follow a few simple tips whenever you play video games with an Internet connection.

What can I do?

So that you don’t have to grapple with the consequences of cyber attacks in the first place, we have put together a few easy-to-implement tips:

Safe Origin: Download games only from official sources. These include the app stores of smartphone maker or large software -Shops that work together with the developers. If the origin is unknown or if the game was downloaded illegally, you should refrain from installing it. An indication of a dubious source on the Internet can be an unrivaled low price or a missing imprint.

Account protection: Only create an account if you are absolutely certain that your data will be treated confidentially and that the provider has secured it with the appropriate encryption technology. Your credit card information in particular should only be disclosed in rare cases and after careful consideration. You should avoid links with social media altogether. It is also important tips for secure and complex passwords to heed.

In- app purchases: Many games offer digital enhancements that are not included in the original purchase price. To avoid accidentally falling into a cost trap, you should protect purchases within apps with a password. If children also have access to such applications, users often face high costs.

Separate user account: If possible, you should use a user account on your computer or console that has only limited rights and on which only the most necessary of your data is stored. This means that malware does not immediately have administrator rights.

Regular updates: As always when dealing with IT security, you should be on the cutting edge of technology in order to achieve the highest possible level of protection. It is therefore advisable to download manufacturer updates as soon as they are available.

So that the fun of the game is not lost frivolously, security technologies and careful handling of data must occupy a substantial place in the Heart of Gaming in the future.

What else can I pay attention to?

In addition to acute cyber security risks, there are pitfalls that players should be aware of. For a few years now, games manufacturers have been implementing so-called loot boxes, for example. These are virtual surprise packages that promise better equipment, for example new clothes for the character or new weapons. As a rule, these chests cost a few dollars each, but hide their exact contents until they are purchased. Once acquired, it shows whether you are lucky and receive a hoped-for object or whether there is a rivet in it.

This principle violates, among other things, the Belgian Gambling Act. In other countries, the practice is still being examined. Loot boxes are particularly dangerous for children: the parents’ credit cards are often stored here on the game console or on the PC, even if they are not aware of them. Since loot boxes promise quick success, the little ones are tempted to swap box after box for real money in the game. The legal guardians then bear the costs.

In addition, it can be worthwhile to check the data protection settings in the settings of a console or a game and only allow absolutely necessary information transfers. Personal information can be used on the Internet to generate personalized advertising, track online behavior or copy identities. Data thrift is the first means of avoiding these methods.

With online games there is of course always a certain risk of Malware infections. The content of games can also be questionable, for example because it is particularly brutal or incites discrimination. Another issue is illegally acquired virtual play money is sold by criminals for real money to enthusiastic gamblers. For example, let’s say you are a NHL 21 player but don’t want to grind games for long hours in order to acquire nhl 21 coins. There are websites you can go to, to buy coins. While there are legit websites who will sell you the coins, there are also fake websites which might be offering mind bogglingly low prices, but once you give your information to buy said coins, there is a good chance your account will get hacked, if not worse. 

 We hope this guide gave you an overview of what you should pay attention to when it comes to computer games, so that you and your children can live out your joy of playing.

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