The PC gaming landscape has changed rapidly. In the not too distant past, PC games were brick and mortar store exclusives. Today, most titles are available on digital distribution platforms like Steam, EA Origin, GOG.com, Battle.net, Uplay, and several others.
Aside from publishers, developers also release updates, upgrades, and in-game purchases digitally. PC games are more socially connected in the digital age, too – you can easily stream or broadcast your favorite PC game or play with people from any corner of the world.
Although the digital age has made PC gaming more convenient and enjoyable, it has also made the hobby riskier. Follow these tips to stay safe:
1. Keep Your Accounts Secure
It’s essential to secure every gaming account with a sophisticated password and two-factor authentication when available, or you may quickly lose thousands of dollars to a hacker. Use a password manager if you must and always log out at the end.
2. Purchase Games from Trusted Sources
Resist the temptation to buy games from lesser-known sources to save a few bucks. While many websites offer CD keys of the latest PC games at lower prices, they often carry malware, such as viruses, adware, spyware, and ransomware. Malware can slow or crash your rig and leak your confidential data. Moreover, many shady CD key stores purchase keys through credit card scams and other illegitimate means. The clock ticks fast on these purchases – publishers usually block dodgy CD keys.
Buy only from trusted sources and use a credit card instead of a debit card for financial protection.
3. Use Cybersecurity Software
You don’t deserve to lose your peace of mind because of one wrong click. Get advanced antivirus software that crushes all malware threats and guards your rig 24/7. Remember to select a cybersecurity software that scans fast and uses fewer resources in order to retain your competitive edge.
4. Don’t Game on Public WiFi
Don’t game on a public WiFi network, even if you want to kill just a few minutes on your laptop. Most public WiFi networks are unsecured and vulnerable to hackers. While you snipe everyone on the map, a cybercriminal could snipe your financial data. If you must game on public WiFi, use a technologically advanced VPN that offers security, privacy, and a fast connection.
5. Don’t Share Your Account Details
Because the PC gaming community is tightly knit, crooks try to weasel their way in, in order to prey on unsuspecting users. Be wary of online friends who ask for your account credentials to try a few of your purchases, or you’ll lose a small fortune before you know it. Remember, some scammers take months to groom their victims. So, if sexybunny22 wants your username and password, then just say no.
6. Don’t Feed the Trolls
Ignore the trolls and don’t involve yourself in pointless debates – you don’t really need to convince everyone that Pre-Crisis Superman can wipe the floor with Goku. Likewise, don’t directly confront hackers and report them to game developers instead. Enjoy the game, and don’t be a target for cybercriminals.
These six tips can help you stay safe as a PC gamer. Apply common sense and use top-of-the-line antivirus software to maintain your safety and privacy while you frag your enemies.