Mexico City /
Currently almost 70% of games are onlineusers interact with other people, often without knowing who is on the other side of the screen, which exposes them to various risks that vary according to age, such as access to inappropriate content, harassment and sexual abuse, theft of identity and personal data, among others.
In any of the cases, the common denominator among the victims of attacks is trust, since players resort to these spaces as a form of entertainment, and the last thing they think is that they could be deceived or scammed.
“It is a world that also favors the idea of anonymous profiles, avatars or alter egos, that is part of the game, which represents an advantage for those who enter with malicious intent,” he says. Juan MarinoCisco Cybersecurity Manager for Latin America.
To better understand how to take care of computer security, the four most frequent threats in online video games are presented below:
Exposure to inappropriate content. The lack of parental controls, supervision and game hours are factors that increase the probability that minors are exposed to inappropriate content, which ranges from obscene language and the use of harmful substances, to images of cruelty and explicit violence or of sexual nature.
Bullying. In the case of children and adolescents, it has been observed that bullying has transcended the school environment, and it is increasingly common to observe that bullies resort to social networks, emails, and video games to continue harassing classmates or acquaintances. .
Grooming. The lack of restrictions on gaming platforms has given rise to criminals practically entering the rooms of girls, boys and adolescents, posing as minors or under the pseudonym of a celebrity, with the intention of gaining their trust to obtain personal information or compromising images, which lead to a relationship of abuse and extortion.
Identity Theft. Most multiplayer games have the option to exchange voice and text messages with other users or to stream, which can be exploited by cybercriminals to obtain personal data leading to the theft of profiles or advanced accounts that are later made public. sale on the dark web, although in most cases what they are really looking for is access to bank information or means of payment associated with the account, or escalate even more to enter other platforms – personal or work – that the victim uses.
“This is the result of the lack of hygiene in terms of cybersecurity, since many people use the same username and password on different platforms, and when someone steals that information or it leaks, it is possible to access other types of more critical services or even information from other family members. These are risks that do not distinguish between age or gender”, points out Marino.
protection to play
To reduce vulnerability while playing online, the cybersecurity specialist recommends using usernames that are not binding to the real identity of people, such as name, age or year of birth, location or personal photographs. In the same way, it is suggested to use a strong password and add a second authentication factor to protect the account.
Another point is to review the privacy settings and keep personal data private, since by default the platforms allow you to receive invitations or messages from any user, generating a higher level of exposure.
In the case of minors, the parameters must be restricted to the maximum, both on consoles, computers and cell phones, to ensure that they only have contact with known users.
In the case of means of payment, it is preferable to resort to prepaid cards or credit purchases, instead of leaving bank details stored.