Parents want to know—How Safe Are Kids’ Games from Hackers
Kids love to play online interactive video games. But parents want to know if they’re vulnerable to online cyber threats.
The answer is yes. Anyone who uses the internet is potentially vulnerable to cyber threats of all kinds.
Cyberattacks designed to target gamers and game companies have been around since online gaming started to become wildly popular in the mid-1990s, with the wider availability of fast internet and consoles like the Sony PlayStation & Microsoft XBOX with dedicated online services.
This post will discuss some of the potential dangers associated with gaming and some precautions that parents can take to protect themselves and their kids from cyber threats.
Nobody wants to get hacked, but it happens all the time. The security and antivirus experts at Norton recently shared some stunning facts surrounding the online gaming community (edited for length):
Gamers and cyberattacks
Gamers around the world have experienced the potential dangers of gaming attacks on their video game systems and networks.
- There were more than 240 million gaming attacks in 2020. (Akamai, 2021)
- Cyberattacks targeting gamer login credentials made up 52% of attacks reported. (Akamai, 2021)
- Ransom DDOS attacks increased by 175% QoQ in 2021. (Cloudflare, 2021)
- 42% of gamers don’t think twice about sharing personal information when signing up for gaming accounts. (Norton, 2021)
- Video game attacks increased 340% in 2020. (Akamai, 2021)
- 46% of gamers experienced an attack on their gaming device in 2021. (Norton, 2021)
- 20% of gamers have detected malicious software (spyware, ransomware, viruses, etc.). (Norton, 2021)
- Almost 20% of gamers detected unauthorized access to one of their online gaming accounts. (Norton, 2021)
- 72% of gamers reported financial loss after an attack on their gaming account or device. (Norton, 2021)
At Sentinel Forge Technologies, as a company focused on protecting families and businesses from cybercrime, we found those statistics particularly alarming.
So let’s start with the basics, like who’s the most vulnerable.
What are the most popular online video games as we head into 2023?
Some of the more popular online digital games include:
- PUBG (aka PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds)
- Dota 2
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- League of Legends
It’s important to keep in mind that we have nothing against online gaming or any of these specific games. What we are saying is that parents, students, and young children need to be vigilant and mindful when they’re actively participating in the online gaming space with a large number of digital strangers.
Hackers are not particular about which industries they attack. Global companies from the banking industry to Agriculture to gaming and everything in between have been hacked in the last 20 years. Cybercrime has also increased significantly over the previous five years, and gaming just happens to be an industry that can potentially exploit kids and young adults.
So how can parents, kids, and students protect themselves from cyberthreats associated with online gaming?
First and foremost, get educated on what you’re up against. Cyberattacks generally stem from the common core of obtaining unauthorized access to online accounts and systems. These compromises can include online gaming console hacks and cloud gaming account hacks, aka Gaming as a Service.
Hackers are always looking for methods to access gaming consoles and user accounts through the backdoor. The easiest way to gain access to your accounts is by innocently giving the hacker access credentials or by downloading malicious code, or malware.
Gaming software security and browser security vulnerabilities are also frequently exploited by hackers. RedLine Stealer, for example, is a software tool that can steal passwords stored in browsers for convenience.
Cybercriminals most commonly use phishing and email compromise techniques to obtain user account login credentials or to install malware. These attacks ask users to hand over sensitive information, like bank accounts, etc., in official-looking emails and texts. Cybercriminals can also install malware by instructing the user to click on a link in an email, open an attachment, or visit a website to do a password reset, etc.
Security vulnerabilities can often be remedied by some basic user awareness and common-sense best technology practices, which we call “Cyber Hygiene”. Parents should also instruct their kids to be cautious and aware of suspicious emails and text messages relating to their gaming accounts, and to let their kids know that they should always come to them first if they are ever unsure if something is safe to click on.
There are lots of websites offering cheats, cracks, and NFT scams in online games. Kids need to know that websites offering “free” things have other ways of making money by infecting you with Malware.
We also always recommend using extreme caution when storing passwords in browsers that could provide access to personal accounts containing sensitive information. If you need to write your passwords down, we recommend using an old-fashion notebook that’s kept in a safe place; not even the best hackers can hack into paper!
So what’s the bottom line? Sentinel Forge Technologies is all about solutions to protect our customers from cybercrime. We don’t want anyone, especially kids, to be exposed to these sleazy cybercriminals dealing in identity and financial theft, malware, and other online attack vectors.
We have sensible, affordable solutions that can help you protect your kids, your business, and the Maryland farm-to-market food supply chain from cybersecurity threats.
At Sentinel Forge Technologies, we focus on providing early warning systems for Cyberattacks designed to stop hackers dead in their tracks.
Our Sentinel Box Service is designed to secure the network that all of your computers and devices, including your kids’ gaming systems, connect to for access to online services, and protect them from cyberthreats of all kinds.
At the core of our solution, the Sentinel Box is a no-touch early warning system for detecting bad cyber actors trespassing on your private digital property.
Our goal is to offer advanced, affordable cybersecurity solutions to every person and business in Maryland. Together we can keep our state and our state’s kids, businesses, families, farmers, and food supply safe from cybercriminals.
But what exactly can you do to protect yourself?
We’re offering incentives for individuals, businesses, and farmers to join the Secure Sentinel Network today. Sentinel Forge Technologies is here to earn your business the old-fashioned way—by earning your trust and confidence.
Call us at (443) 991-8280 or schedule your free 30-minute assessment call today!
Remember, with cybersecurity, forewarned is forearmed!
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