We are sure you have heard more than enough about online gaming risks and the threats they pose. Online games are all the rage among the gaming community and young adults nowadays. You can sit in the safety of your home and play a game while collaborating with your friends at the same time. What more can you want?
Here is how playing games can be advantageous for your child or you.
Online gaming can be very helpful in letting go of your daily stress and nice “me” time for you and the kids. Here are some obvious advantages:
- Socializing with like-minded individuals while playing games
- Encourages children and adults to solve problems and take on new challenges
- Helps in developing observational skills and makes the brain more detail-oriented
While there are advantages, there are also online gaming risks and disadvantages we should be aware of:
- Motor skill development is halted and delayed due to sitting for too long
- Bad eating and sleeping habits can be developed as a result of not eating right and staying up to play
- Online bullying and other security threats
Safe gaming can be a great escape from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life. But unless you know what a VPN can do and how you can use it to your advantage to keep you safe online, you may very well be at risk of being hacked or compromised online.
Let’s look at some ways in which you can and should protect yourself from the dangers of online gaming and play safe online games.
1. Cyber Bullying
As a parent that has kids involved in gaming, you should be aware of one of the biggest online gaming risksi.e being bullied online. Kids these days are very private about their lives and they somehow feel like they can battle their issues on their own. Your kid may be being bullied at the hands of high-profile players that may create an environment that kills the low-level players and so on.
Make sure your child knows that this is something they need to talk about if you want them to practice safe gaming habits.
2. Use a VPN
What is a VPN? A VPN is a virtual private network that allows you an added layer of protection when you are gaming. When you use a virtual private network for gaming, you are not letting any user on the gaming server connect to your device directly. They will be connected to another server and this way, your data is safe. Using a VPN like VeePNcan also boost up your gaming speeds. Do try a free trial and see for yourself.
3. Exposed Webcam
When you are playing games online, you might be playing a game that may require your webcam switched on. Well, if you don’t take proper measures to restrict programs from accessing your webcam, a hacker can access it and use it to gain access to your crucial information.
Your children can be bullied and even exploited by hackers if they get control of their webcam. Ensure that they are practicing safe gaming and shutting down their webcam properly when it is not in use.
4. Ensure You’re Playing on a Secure Server
Starting up a new game? Make sure that the new server you are going to play on is secure and has the authentication and encryption required. If not, safe gaming might be difficult to ensure and the server may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks and hackers.
This can mean that all your personal data like your login information, your address, your payment details can go into the hands of a hacker and they can use it for wrong purposes.
5. Don’t Divulge Personal Information
While it may seem like you have made a friend online, but if someone is consistently inquiring about your personal information online, don’t give it. Always share information with only people you trust.
6. Download from Trusted Sources
Make sure you only download assets, plugins, and actual games from your console’s authorized websites. Only download from sources that are secure, most reviewed and trusted by other senior gamers out there. Downloading from bad sources is one of the biggest online gaming risks out there.
7. Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Online Gaming
Public Wi-Fi is not safe, it never has been. Avoid connecting to it without knowing what a VPN can do to protect you from hacking attempts while you use public Wi-Fi. Make sure to always connect to a secure network to avoid giving access to a hacker to attack your device and use your personal information in a scam.
8. Use Antivirus Software
Make sure you are paying for good antivirus software to protect yourself from malware and other hacking attempts. Paid software is much more robust and has better features than free ones. So make sure you are investing in a good one along with keeping your device’s internal OS up to date to avoid any loopholes in security.
If the players in question are children, then as parents it is your duty to ensure safe gaming knowledge is passed on to them and that they inform you of any unusual activity if they notice it. Teach your children about the signs and results of getting bullied and hacked online when they are playing games online.
Online gaming is no doubt, one of the best ways to relax and have some me-time. It helps you feel in control and also make new friends. But, as we mentioned, it has its disadvantages that you have to navigate carefully in order to ensure you are bypassing online gaming risks. It is important that you understand the threat surrounding online gaming and take the necessary steps required to protect yourself from these threats on a daily basis. Understand what a good VPN can do to protect your online gaming and other surfing activities. Use good quality devices and software when playing games to prevent yourself from being hacked and your personal information from being used for the wrong reasons.
We hope that you adopt the above-mentioned safe gaming practices and make sure that you are protecting yourself and your children from the dangers of getting bullied or hacked online. Happy safe online gaming!