From SocialMonsters: “Gamers and Keeping Their Identities Safe”

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Cyberspace can be a shifty place for game players. Here are some tips for staying on your guard and keeping your online credentials from being stolen.

Ensure a Site is Secure

There are three sources to have your eyes open for on a webpage. Look for the “https” prefix in the website address itself. It does show some indication of security for the site, but does not guarantee the site is fully secure. Next, look for a lock icon next to the web address in the browser bar, showing that the site is encrypted. This is a must when entering your financial information. Last but not least, be sure to look for security licenses, certificates and linkable security logos. It means the company is currently on-the-dot with all security software updates. Though many companies have made sure their security software is working, because of the Heartbleed bug, its best to make inspections to see if the site was once affected and to take precautions to make sure the site is a patched one. Change your password if necessary.

Be careful what you reveal about yourself online. This includes divulging too much information about your account and player history. No matter how trustworthy a forum seems or who’s on it, anybody could be playing, watching and listening in. Even trusted friends could have previously hacked other players. Never answer questions from other players that involve giving information about yourself.

Password protect all your gaming accounts, even if you’re the only one using them. Hackers tend to look for accounts with the easiest passwords. Invent unique passwords for your accounts and associated emails. If additional offered authentication steps are given with the game, it’s a wise move to implement them. Be aware of what could be sent to you through your emails and be on your toes with what Wi-Fi network you use.

Precautions to Protect

If you are finished with an account, be sure you fully close it through the account services or website’s customer service page. If unsure, email a message to the website through the contact page for more information. If you’re going to use your own account on somebody else’s console, put it on a portable and monitorable memory card.

If a gamer decides to make the move of pirating a game, there are other things to worry about aside from legal consequences such as suspending your gaming account or blocking you from the server. Also be clear of downloading any “free cheats” being offered by websites or other gamers claiming they can assist with your gaming.

Check your bills — credit cards, Microsoft point balance or Playstation wallet — to see if there have been any suspicious changes. Let the company of your console and credit card provider known about your concerns. Consider using a company such as the LifeLock to monitor your activity and accounts.

Lastly, there are many anti-virus software programs available. Protect your gaming and your information from thievery, spyware, or other malicious software. Don’t forget to keep the software updated too.

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