Gaming in pandemic
The COVID 19 pandemic continues to impact the lives of Canadians significantly. In the most recent study of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, it has been observed that Canadians are playing more videogames than before to stay connected and entertain themselves in these tough times. As high as 80% of teens and 58% of adults are playing video games during the pandemic (as per the office of the privacy commissioner of Canada).
Gaming has gone social
Gaming is no longer restricted to one user and one machine; a lot of gaming companies do organize group gaming events and allow users to connect their social media platforms to the gaming sites so that users can play with their friends or acquaintances. Gaming is no longer restricted to kids or teens but even parents are also indulging in games.
Gaming associated risks
These gaming websites are not only taking your name but they are also collecting your contact details, address, email and bank account information in the name of registration or when you purchase more points to play further levels. As more and more users are opting for online gaming these days a lot of cybercrimes are increasing. The most prevalent one is the credential stuffing attack. It's human nature to use the same passwords across multiple websites and when these users register to the gaming portals using the common credentials their credentials are compromised. Hence the scope of risk is not related to just social media but even banking or e-commerce credentials as well.
Children are using credit card information of parents
A lot of parents allow their kids to use tablets and smartphones for gaming. All such devices already have your profiles and credit card information preconfigured in such devices. When kids use such devices unsupervised, they often download games via app or play store which are chargeable which can result in a hefty bill to parents. Moreover, none of the bank’s life American Express, Citi provides any sort of fraud protection and it is the sole responsibility of the cardholder to be vigilant.
How can you safeguard your information?
Use multi-factor authentication (wherever possible)
Ensure that the website you use for gaming is using an HTTPS link so that your data will be encrypted when it travels across the web
Strong privacy settings
Do not share too much personal information that is sensitive (for example, your address, school or work-related details, etc.)
If allowed use a pseudonym or nickname that is making you unique and untraceable
Be cautious while clicking on links within in-game websites as they can be phishing attempts
Be vigilant when you share mobile phones or tablets with kids
Educate kids on the best practices to play video games
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