In general, playing free online games is safe, however, Online gaming has experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity in recent years, with the industry generating over $100 billion in revenue in 2017. Unfortunately, this growth has also led to an increase in online scams and fraud targeting gamers. From malware and phishing scams to identity theft and fake game hacks, players now face a multitude of risks both online and offline.
One major threat to gamers is dodgy downloads. Hackers often disguise dangerous links or apps as popular free games, using them to deliver viruses and spyware, sign users up for paid services without consent, or take control of their devices. Social scams are another common tactic, with hackers using chat messages to send malware or inviting other players to download “helpful” tools that are actually malware. Some scammers also pose as other players, inviting others to join their team and download an “audio tool” that turns out to be a keystroke logger designed to steal login credentials.
Phishing is also a significant risk, with hackers creating fake websites or emails that mimic legitimate gaming sites and lure users into providing login credentials or downloading fake games containing malware. The popular game Fortnite has been a particular target of phishing scams aimed at stealing third-party sign-in tokens and payment details.
Keeping in mind the risks of playing online games, it’s important to be cautious and take certain precautions to protect yourself and your personal information. Here are some tips to ensure your safety while playing free online games!
Tips to Ensure Safety While Playing Free Online Games
- Choose reputable websites: Choosing reputable websites is a key step in staying safe while playing online games. Reputable websites are those that are well-known and have a good reputation for providing safe and secure games. These sites have a track record of providing legitimate games that are free of malware and other harmful software.
- Read the terms and conditions: Make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions before you start playing any game. This will help you avoid any potential scams or hidden charges.
- Check for malware: Use anti-virus software to scan your computer for malware before and after playing any online game.
- Protect your personal information: Never give out personal information such as your full name, address, phone number or credit card details to any online gaming site or to other players.
- Use strong passwords: Creating strong and unique passwords is an important step in protecting your gaming accounts from unauthorized access. Here are some tips on how to create strong passwords:
- Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols: Mixing up these elements will make your password much stronger and more difficult to crack. For example, instead of using “password123”, try using “P@ssw0rd123!”.
- Make it long: The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Aim for a minimum of 12 characters, but ideally, your password should be 16 characters or more.
- Avoid common words and phrases: Common words and phrases like “password” or “letmein” are easily guessable and should be avoided.
- Use a password manager: Consider using a password manager to help you generate and store unique, strong passwords for all your online accounts. This way, you don’t have to remember each individual password.
- Don’t reuse passwords: Never use the same password across multiple websites. If one account is compromised, all your other accounts could be at risk.
- Be cautious with in-game purchases: Avoid making any in-game purchases unless you trust the website or game developer and understand the terms and conditions.
By following these tips, you can enjoy playing free online games safely and securely.
Managing safety while playing online games is crucial to protect yourself from a range of threats such as malware, phishing scams, identity theft, and account takeover. By taking steps such as using reputable websites, creating strong passwords, and being cautious of social scams, gamers can reduce the risk of falling victim to cybercriminals. And also, by staying informed and taking precautions, players can enjoy the benefits of online gaming while minimizing the risks associated with it.