With so many security breaches occurring in the world, it’s important for everyone–from business owners to casual online movie viewers–to be protected on the Web. Roughly 230,000 new malware samples are being launched per day, according to Panda Security, who also found that 27% of all recorded malware appeared in 2015 alone.
So what does this mean for gamers? The fact, is, gamers are some of the most at-risk individuals because of the nature of their hobby. Some of the biggest household names in the gaming industry allow add-on and optional purchases that are attached to secure user information data. What this means is that the majority of gamers who create usernames and flesh out their profiles with other sensitive data–especially massively multiplayer games (MMP) that take place online–make for ideal targets.
According to TechCrunch, more and more gamers are leaning on virtual private networks to keep them safe. Eighteen percent of gamers are currently using a VPNs, according to one survey. But not all virtual private servers are created equally. According to the survey, the top consideration for their VPS of choice was speed, followed by geographic diversity and price. Here’s more information about VPNs:
What Exactly Is A Virtual Private Network?
One of the first things you’ll need to understand is that there is a major difference between a virtual private network and a virtual private server. These terms can often be mistaken for one another, and it’s important that you learn how to tell them apart.
A virtual private server is an independent server option offered by Internet hosting companies. This term is used for website hosting, and different VPS options include CPanel VPS hosting and Linux VPS. With VPS, you aren’t forced to share your virtual real estate space with others on the network. This superlevel access allows users to install any type of software and maintain complete control of your assets. If you’re a gamer who builds your own software, a VPS is for you.
Virtual private networks operate completely different, and are ideal for game players. A VPN allows gamers to browse and play securely and anonymously. It sends secure data across various networks to ensure any information relayed, no matter how big or small, is encrypted and protected. This level of protection safeguards individuals against the growing number of online, game-related attacks.
Most importantly, a VPS protects your data. If a hacker were to discover a loophole in a game you’re playing, they’d be able to exploit it to retrieve personal information about you and your gameplay. They might take your in-game inventory, or manipulate your connection to steal your login credentials, passwords, and credit card information.
Be First to Play Games
There are many benefits of a VPN. For starters, it allows gamers to play games—no matter where they live. For example, some games may not be available online in other countries. A VPN’s relays are able to trick Internet providers into thinking the game is being accessed by the host country.
Sometimes game publishers release on different dates in different parts of the world. This can be frustrating for hardcore gaming fans who don’t want to wait until after people in other areas have played first. And for games that are ultra-competitive, a few days behind everyone else can impact your performance. With a VPN, you can connect to a game server in any country, allowing you to stay on par with other fans of the game. Whether you’re entering in a gameplay tournament in another country, or live in a city where a game has a later release date, a VPN can do the trick.
Be sure to invest in a paid virtual private network, as it will run smoother for large server connections, like a game. While there are many free versions, you might find patches as you play, and slow loading time that could affect the gameplay experience. Do your research to figure out which is best for you, and test different trial VPNs when possible.
Threats Against Gamers
In the gaming world, there are plenty of threats. And no matter how popular or indie the game is, hackers are putting all their effort into finding ways to sink in. In 2016, 7 million Minecraft users were hacked. In 2014, EA Games was hacked in an attempt to steal Apple IDs. And PlayStation was infamously hacked in 2011, when 77 million users had their personal details stolen.
The most basic, surface level threats include enticing gamers with promises of items that could be used to advance their games. These ads or phishing sites could infect the system and steal the user information. Alternatively, even with just login credentials for a game, a user could be forced to download a malicious file that compromises sensitive information.
Today’s hackers are stealing costly and rare in-game items in exchange for real-world money–and if the buyer of stolen good is lucky, the offer won’t be a trick to take their information, too. For example, DDoS are very popular attack types against live streamers. Take a look at this list of some of the more popular types of attacks against gamers.
Play While Traveling
Similar to the “get games first” benefit previously mentioned, a VPN assures that you can take your gaming system anywhere you go and set up camp. This is a very important feature for gamers—especially gamers who are great at what they do and have begun monetizing their gameplay. Once you start making money from playing your games, it’s important to be able to connect anywhere you go. No only are you able to access your game in a country that might have restricted you otherwise, but you’re able to a fast, high-quality service, rather than being forced to rely on local servers that stall your game.