Safe Gaming Tips - How gamers can protect their PC and Privacy

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When it comes to all online activity, including gaming, safety shouldn’t be ignored. While online gaming is fun, convenient, and seemingly without danger or hassle, gaming security breaches can happen. Because of the online gaming risks to your security and privacy, there are a few things to keep in mind each time you log in for a truly safe gaming experience.

It’s not enough to just know which are the safe online games to play. All online games can pose a serious security threat, as players can have personal data, payment details and addresses stolen by hackers if their account is compromised.

Give these safe gaming tips a try, and you'll enjoy a worry-free, more enjoyable online gaming experience.

1. Secure your gaming and store accounts

If you’re using online stores and gaming networks that store your financial details and personal data, you’ll want to:

  • Secure your accounts with a strong password.
  • Enable two-factor authentication where possible.
  • Avoid using the same password you’ve used elsewhere.
  • Never share login details with others.

  • Remember to logout when finished.

These tips should help you stay safe from hackers trying to steal your password. If you really want safe gaming peace of mind, you can use prepaid credit cards or vouchers when buying online instead of using your everyday credit or debit card details.

2. Keep your personal details private

Beware of oversharing or revealing too much when playing games online. Keep your personal details as private as possible when communicating with fellow players, especially those you don’t know well. This can help reduce the online gaming risks of abuse, harassment or stalking, and even identity theft and phishing attempts.

3. Don’t encourage trolls or bad behaviour

Don’t engage with anyone who harasses you or is being abusive — the more you react, the more likely it is that they will continue. Instead, report their behaviour to the game developer, the game’s support team or a moderator. If possible document any abuse so you can provide credible proof of the incident. That way proper action can be taken fast and without too much hassle, promoting online gaming safety.

4. Buy from trusted online stores

If you’re going to shop online, consider purchasing from well-established and trusted vendors. This will prevent you from falling prey to scammers or malware, spyware, viruses, and ransomware threats.

To seek out safe online games to play, look for these options:

  • Android users should stick to Google play and avoid sideloading.
iPhone and iPad users should use the Apple App store. 

  • Windows and Mac users can use their own app stores as well as trusted online stores like Steam, Uplay, MacGameStore, GreenmanGaming, Origin, and Humble Bundle to name a few.
  • Console gamers can buy and download digital copies online via their console manufacturer’s online stores. 

If you’re ever in doubt about the credibility of an online store, do some research before purchasing and downloading. Look for online reviews or ask around in popular game forums for some advice before making a decision to buy, and this will help you enjoy online gaming safety.

5. Avoid dodgy downloads, mods or links

It’s not enough to know the safe websites to download games. These too can be compromised. Don’t download software from strangers, especially cheat mods or automation scripts and programs, they could easily be carrying spyware or malware, and without the best antivirus for gaming, you’d never know. Since mods and cheats aren’t supported by game developers, they’re not regulated.

It’s best to avoid downloads that look a bit fishy or mods and links that could be suspicious. Only use trusted, regular sources and websites to find safe online games to play and download.

6. Avoid playing on public Wi-Fi

As tempting as it may be to use free Wi-Fi, try no to. You don’t know who the network belongs to. It might be a fake hotspot setup to intercept unwary users’ data. Since you can’t always be sure that public wireless networks and hotspots are secure, if you‘re thinking of connecting to one of these then use a virtual private network (VPN) which functions like a secret tunnel protecting all activity and data from prying eyes. To ensure online gaming safety, you could also connect to your personal mobile device’s hotspot if that's trusted.

7. Keep your software up-to-date

Try and keep your device’s software up-to-date. This includes not only the operating system but ALL software installed, even games. Developers and hardware manufacturers regularly provide software updates to fix vulnerabilities which could otherwise be used by attackers to infiltrate your system to steal data or wreak havoc.

8. Install Antivirus Software


If you’re playing on a PC, Mac or mobile device you should consider installing an antivirus and internet security solution to keep you safe online:

  • PC users can install ESET NOD32 Antivirus or ESET Internet Security, which has a small system footprint and a Gamer Mode which reduces system usage even more, so it won’t slow down your PC while you’re playing games.
  • Mac users can download ESET Cyber Security Pro. The truth is that no operating system is 100% secure. Even if it was, vulnerabilities exist in third party applications, like games, that can be exploited by malware and cause damage.
  • Android users you can download ESET Mobile Security via the Google Play Store.

9. Monitor Children’s Online Safety

Online gaming safety becomes especially important to consider when children are playing online. Prevent negative, dangerous gaming experiences with the help of ESET’s Safer Kids Online initiative. Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones through fun, engaging content. Establish some parameters around what your kids can and cannot do online to limit communications with cyber criminals and restrict e-commerce and suspicious downloads.

Enjoy safe online gaming with ESET

With these tips to keep in mind, you can enjoy online gaming safely. The simplest way to ensure that your online security isn’t compromised is through trusted antivirus software. With over 110 million users worldwide and a 30-day free trial, installing ESET’s products for gamers is a wise move. Browse ESET’s products today for the best antivirus for gamers. Enjoy your gaming!