Online gaming is currently at its peak. Statista, a company that specializes in market data, found that there are over 3.24 billion gamers around the globe – which is no small figure. Of these 3.24 billion people, some of them are likely your friends and work colleagues. Essentially, almost everyone is playing video games online.
There are endless reasons behind the popularity of online gaming. It’s fun, entertaining, and provides people with a platform for competition (remember, most online games involve you going head-to-head with other players). With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that the industry has exploded!
When it comes to online gaming, your safety is paramount. Generally, there’s nothing to be worried about, but there are some natural risks in the online gaming world that you need to be aware of – no matter which device you’re playing on.
As a helping hand and friendly nudge in the right direction, this guide has gathered together a list of 8 device requirements for your online gaming safety. Make sure to follow them closely, as they’ll make sure you have the best possible experience!
Online gaming usually involves you connecting with other random people around the world, whether you’re playing on a Call of Duty server or in a mobile casino online. Because of this, your device is going to be transferring and receiving information from remote servers, meaning your internet connection needs to be up to the task! If it isn’t, you’re going to have a bad experience online and won’t enjoy any of the video games that you have.
Speaking of the internet, it’s highly recommended that you play on a private WIFI connection when gaming online. This is because your connection will be naturally encrypted, meaning it’s much harder for hackers to break into your network and monitor any activity.
If you decide to play online using a public WIFI connection (such as when you’re in Starbucks or Mcdonald’s), this puts your personal information at great risk! Public WIFI connections aren’t encrypted, which makes them a potential goldmine for hackers and other cybercriminals.
The point is clear: avoid public WIFI if you can!
This isn’t an essential device requirement – but it’s highly recommended for PC and laptop gamers.
Ideally, your device should have a minimum of 8GB of RAM. This is because it will boost the performance levels of your device, enabling you to play video games quickly and more smoothly.
When you’re gaming online, you need to see everything nice and clearly on your monitor. If you can’t, then you’re at more of a risk due to the fact you might accidentally click on spam messages or virus links.
Thankfully, it’s easy to get your hands on a high-quality monitor nowadays. Roughly, you’re looking at somewhere between $200 and $300 to get a budget 4K monitor, which is an excellent long-term investment.
If you can’t get a 4K monitor, then a 1080p one will suffice. The key is that you can see the text and animations on your screen clearly.
Whether you’re using a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, or Google Stadia, make sure your device has a secure password in place. This way, if your device is ever stolen or hacked, it makes it near impossible for people to get into your account and steal sensitive information (such as your bank details).
When creating your passwords, make sure they include a combination of:
Also, set a reminder to change your passwords every three months. Consider this an extra blanket of security.
If you want to take things even further, you can turn on two-factor authentication (providing it’s enabled on your gaming device). This will involve you receiving a text or email that you will need to verify your identity whenever you log in. For example, if you log into your PS5 with two-factor authentication turned on, you’ll receive a text message to your smartphone before progressing into your account. This is great, as it means that even if hackers know your password, they still can’t get into your account due to the fact that they don’t have your smartphone!
Antivirus software is an important part of modern-day gaming, especially for PC users. This is because antivirus software can detect and eliminate viruses that you might encounter, whether it’s through your browser or an official streaming platform. For example, it’s common for hackers to send out messages to people’s accounts that contain phishing links. These links contain viruses, which, when opened, can cause ruin your account and all of its data.
Most gaming devices allow you to set safety locks. Safety locks are timers that automatically activate when no activity is detected.
Let’s say you set your safety lock to turn on after 5 minutes of no activity. This means that whenever you walk away from your console or device, it will turn on at the 5-minute mark, meaning that even if somebody steals your device, they would need to log in to gain access to anything.
If your device does not come with an automatic safety lock option, then you will need to turn off your device whenever you leave it. Opting to leave your device turned on when it’s unattended (such as in a public library) is too much of a risk to take.
The 8th and final requirement for today is that you make your online gaming profiles private. Under no circumstances should your profiles make reference to addresses, emails, or your real-life name, as this is exactly what hackers want to know. Instead, you should make your profiles private and only accept friend requests from people you know.
In addition to this, if you receive any direct messages from random accounts, don’t respond to them. Sometimes, messages are designed to lure you in before asking for suspicious details, which is a trap that many gamers sadly fall into.