Online gaming has seen a rise in popularity over the years. Many people see it as a way to unwind from a stressful day or complete new challenges. However, just like any other internet-connected channel, online gaming can expose users to a variety of cybersecurity risks. So, to examine the relationship between cybersecurity and gaming, we decided to survey 1,000 U.S. residents ages 18 and over who are frequent gamers. *
Time to Upgrade Your Online Safety
Of those surveyed, 75% of PC gamers chose security as the element that most concerned them about the future of gaming. This makes sense since 64% of our respondents either have or know someone who has been directly affected by a cyberattack. And while 83% of the gamers do use an antivirus software to protect their PCs, we found that gamers still participate in risky online behavior.
Poor Habits Could Mean Game Over for Your Cybersecurity
So, what does this risky behavior look like, exactly? The following sums it up pretty well:
- 55% of gamers reuse passwords for multiple online accounts, leading to greater risk if their password is cracked.
- 36% of respondents rely on incognito mode or private browsing to keep their PC safe.
- 41% read the privacy policies associated with games, though this technique won’t help to keep their device secure.
With these lax habits in place, it’s not hard to believe that 38% of our respondents experienced at least one malicious attack on their PC. And while 92% installed an antivirus software after experiencing a cyberattack, it’s important for gamers to take action against potential threats before they occur.
Level Up Your Gaming Security
Now the question is – what do these gamers need to do to stay safe while they play? Start by following these tips:
- Do not reuse passwords. Reusing passwords makes it easier for hackers to access more than one of your accounts if they crack one of your logins. Prevent this by using unique login credentials for all of your accounts.
- Click with caution. Avoid interacting with messages from players you don’t know and don’t click on suspicious links. Cybercriminals can use phishing emails to send gamers malicious files and links that can infect their device with malware.
- Use a security solution. Using a security service to safeguard your devices can help protect you from a variety of threats that can disrupt your gaming experience. Look out for our newest product McAfee Gamer Security, which we launched just in time for CES 2019. Although this product is still in beta mode, it could be used to combat cyberthreats while optimizing your computing resources.
And, as always, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
*Survey respondents played video games at least four times a month and spent at least $200 annually on gaming.