Note: This is a guest post written by Bridget
The online gaming industry has experienced significant growth over the past few years. This has been fuelled in part by the recent Covid-19 lockdowns that have seen millions of people around the world look for new ways to keep entertained while stuck inside. Gaming is a fun, educational, and relaxing way to keep connected with family and friends online.
Unfortunately, gamers have increasingly become a target for cybercriminals who are looking to either steal personal information or simply disrupt gameplay. Online scams that target gamers are a significant problem with devastating consequences that extend far beyond the game itself.
With that in mind, continue reading to discover everything you need to know about one of the most popular forms of scam — credential stuffing — and the steps that you can take to protect yourself online.
Credential stuffing is not a new threat. What is new is the number of people signing up to create online gaming accounts, a situation that is very tempting to cyber criminals.
Credential stuffing is a type of cyber attack in which login credentials obtained through a data breach are used to try and access other types of accounts. These credentials are often bought and sold on the dark web.
If you have a different username and password combination to each and every one of your online accounts, you probably don’t need to worry about falling victim to credential stuffing. However, if like many of us, you tend to use the same password for all your social media, email, and gaming accounts, credential stuffing is a very real threat.
Statistically speaking, credential stuffing has a very low success rate. Cybercriminals have to spend a lot of time inputting possible username and password combinations with no guarantee of success. However, modern technology has made this process a lot easier through the invention of bots that circumvent many typical website security features that are designed to protect against credential stuffing attacks.
How can I protect myself?
There are many ways to protect yourself against a credential stuffing attack. The most basic is to practise good password security and never use the same login credentials for multiple accounts.
Many gaming platforms now offer 2FA (or two-factor authentication), which is another handy security tool that can protect your personal information should a hacker happen to guess your username and password combination. Once you have set 2FA up, you will need to enter another code after your password. This code is often sent via email or text message, or obtained through an authentication app. If a cybercriminal has access to your password but not your phone, they can still be blocked from getting into your account.
You should also sign up to dark web monitoring. Given the high rate of data breaches, dark web monitoring is an essential security tool that can quickly alert you should your personal information be found on the dark web.
Security tips and tricks for online gamers
Other than credential stuffing, there are a whole host of threats out there targeting online gamers. Fortunately, knowledge of these threats, combined with trustworthy gamer antivirus software, is more than adequate protection.
Whether you are an online gamer yourself or the parent of an enthusiastic gaming kid, always follow these tips when playing online:
- Protect your personal information: This can be as simple as never using your real name when creating a gamer tag. While you will need to provide some personal information when signing up to a gaming platform, only provide as much as you need and never discuss topics like your location or date of birth when playing with others.
- Monitor younger players: If you have children who love to play online, be sure that you are aware of what kind of games they are playing. Many popular games these days have an element of multiplayer, which means that your children could be chatting with strangers. Have open discussions about the risks of the online world and ensure they know they can come to you if anything makes them feel upset or uncomfortable.
- Download from reputable sites: Purchasing a game can be expensive but don’t fall victim to fake downloads from dodgy sites. Often these bootleg games are full of malware that can infect your device and render it inoperable.
- Using gamer antivirus: These days, antivirus software has evolved to the point where we now have dedicated programs available to protect gamers. Gamer antivirus can safeguard you against the most common types of online attacks including viruses, malware, DDoS, doxxing and web-cam takeovers.
Credential stuffing is just one example of the many types of online scams faced by online gamers today. Ensure that you protect yourself and those close to you by following the above tips and tricks so that you can game with complete confidence!
Note: This guest post is written by Bridget, a writer and editor, currently living in Melbourne. She is a copywriter for Newpath Web and loves working with words of all shapes and sizes. When not playing around with punctuation and grammar, she enjoys travelling and curating her Spotify playlists.