Online Gaming and Cybersecurity
January 19, 2023
The epic Sony Playstation hack of 2011 taught a lot of gamers a hard lesson on cybersecurity, and brought hacking into the gaming industry in a significant way. When hackers took down the Playstation network, most people were simply left without service, however, the hacking industry has evolved to employ much the same tools to your online gaming environment as to your work or home computer. They still use tools such as phishing, malware, spyware, data theft, and more. Because these are similar in nature, the same general protections still very much apply, such as complex passwords, not using the same passwords across platforms, using multi-factor authentication wherever it is offered, or using alternatives such as pin codes or email verification if offered. And only provide the absolute minimum personal information required, especially if setting up accounts for young users. Here are some gaming specific tips as well:
- Only download cheat codes or free games from reputable sources.
- Be aware of in-game purchasing - make sure your young users are aware of how those can be misused.
- Use a VPN when online gaming, this protects your younger users from having their location known.
- And finally, when your youngster (or oldster!) decides it's time for a new console, make sure to wipe the hard drive prior or reformat it prior to disposal, this makes sure your personal information is not available to identity thieves.
UA Security Matters is a system-wide effort to increase awareness on cybersecurity topics. We wish you a happy, healthy, and secure holiday season! For more cybersecurity information, please visit the UA Security Matters website at https://alaska.edu/securitymatters/index.php or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.