The Growing Risks of Online Gaming
Online gaming is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in the world today. With millions of people enjoying it, it is easy to see why there are so many risks. Although there are certainly many exciting stories, characters, and plots to enjoy, there are as well a host of social and technological dangers of online gaming that can lead to harmful situations. Here is a look at the most common dangers that anyone should be aware of:
- Privacy concerns – The internet has brought the world closer together by providing a means for people to interact with one another. It is an extremely fast and efficient way to share information about a person or a group, or simply to share stories and experiences with other individuals. This also makes it vulnerable to online gaming security risks. Hackers and other individuals with malicious intentions may target personal data from these websites. Personal data can include anything from financial details to real-life information that would include a gamer’s name, address, and dates of birth.
- Security threats – Although it is difficult to predict the future, the internet is rapidly becoming a popular method of carrying out illegal activities. Stealing from online gaming sites is common, with some individuals using stolen credit card information to make purchases. This information is then sent to fraudulent websites, which allow them to use the credit card in place of the real money. There is no legal way for consumers to dispute these charges, which often result in a negative impact on their credit score. Other forms of online gaming risks stem from malicious intruders who infiltrate gaming accounts and take advantage of the gamers’ systems.
- Security threats – Gaming sites often require advanced internet security programs such as McAfee or Norton to protect their users. These programs often monitor all online activity on the computer and alert the site operators if there is suspicious activity. However, while such programs are a good way to prevent hackers from gaining access to personal information and causing damage to a computer system, they do little to impede the progress of technologically savvy thieves. Viruses and spyware are common vulnerabilities that allow attackers to easily gain access to a computer’s valuable information.
- Cybersecurity risks – In addition to the previously mentioned threats of hackers and intruders, another issue facing online gaming sites is that of malware. Malware is software that causes problems when installed on a computer system without the consumer’s knowledge. Common malware includes adware, spyware, Trojans, worms, and viruses. Many of these malware infections can render computers useless after they have been infected. The only way to overcome this issue is by installing reputable online gaming security applications.
- Online bullying – One of the biggest threats of online gaming is online bullying. This is most commonly caused by two types of individuals: those who are frustrated, upset, or angry over being unable to complete a game, or by those who use chat rooms or forums to threaten, ridicule, or harass other gamers. These individuals do not always target women as their primary victims. Children and other members of the gaming community are also targets of cyberbullying.
All of these online gaming risks take place when online gamers spend time in chat rooms or forums where they can openly express their anger, frustration, or other negative feelings. While it is common for most online gamers to seek to understand why they are being attacked or harassed, they usually do not consider ways to counteract these behaviours. Unfortunately, most online gaming sites do not encourage consumers to report bad behaviour to law enforcement authorities, which leaves gamers’ only option to try to prevent and protect themselves from the attacks. Unfortunately, many online gamers remain silent about these issues because they fear that they may jeopardize their gaming accounts or lose their online gaming privileges. While these issues do create risks for online gaming, the good news is that there are plenty of resources available that can help online gamers learn how to avoid and protect themselves against many of the most common threats.
Cyberbullying is one of the most common online gaming risks. Although it is unfortunate, many children have become the latest victims of cyberbullying because they were unable to prevent or protect themselves from the abusive messages. There is no reason why online gaming site owners cannot implement measures that will help alleviate some of these risks. In the meantime, online gaming consumers need to be educated about these issues and be on guard for the possible dangers as well as the opportunities that are available to them to increase their level of skill and knowledge about technology.