The online video gaming industry has been booming in recent years, and it’s clear why. The benefits video games offer are too many to kick to the side. We all know they serve entertainment purposes, but studies have shown that video games help build problem-solving attributes and increase concentration, thoughtfulness, and creativity in players, especially children and young adults.
But with the many benefits comes a few red flags, most of which have to do with safety and security. It’s, therefore, crucial for gamers to be aware of these disclaimers.
Whether you’re playing blackjack games at FanDuel Casino or an arcade video game, ensuring your safety is paramount. These simple guidelines will teach you to stay safe and secure while gaming via the internet.
Pay Careful Attention to What You’re Downloading
Google’s Kubernetes, also known as k8s, is an open software being deployed by most game developers today. It allows apps to run in a discrete environment set up specifically for cloud-native apps. This invention has no doubt changed the gaming world for the better, but there are some risks attached to it.
One such risk is malware installation which could lead to a cyber-breach. Malware is software designed to reconfigure or gain unauthorized access to your gaming device, making all your personal data accessible.
To combat malware installation, ensure to download your gaming apps from trusted sources only, that is, games that are available on your app store. If you do otherwise, you may end up installing a virus that can lead to cyberattacks.
Play Games Within Your Age Bracket
The essence of age ratings is to protect young gamers from content that could be harmful to their physical and mental health. Some of the highest-rated games online contain lewd or provocative content, graphic violence storylines, the usage of profane language, and other age-restricted depictions that may be disturbing to players of a certain age.
As a result, these games carry age rating labels to caution young players. When searching for games online, be careful not to download or play live video games above your age range.
Developers also include age labels because of the many interactions that go on, especially during live games. People who play games that are beyond their age bracket can get exposed to mature interactions with adults, which can be harmful in the long run. If you’re a young gamer, stay safe by playing games that fit your age range.
Use the Block and Report Options When Necessary
There are many different gamers across the world, and there will be some who exhibit inappropriate behavior online. As a result, most software developers provide security measures to ensure user safety. Don’t hesitate to use these features whenever you feel uncomfortable or at risk online.
You can always stop another player from interacting with you by using the block option. Reporting the user to the gaming company will also help to protect not only you but also others.
Choose a Safe Username and Password
You should go to any length possible to ensure you and your loved ones are safe online.
It’s easy to ignore simple details such as choosing a username or password, but as minute as these may seem, they can make you vulnerable to cyberattacks and bullying. As a rule of thumb, do not use your or your loved ones’ names as a username on a gaming platform, and try not to put your age or contact details as well.
Putting personal data as your username or password could expose you to real-life attackers. Staying anonymous is a safe way to play video games online.
Mind What You Share Online
As hard as it is for many to believe, not everything on the internet is to be trusted. The online space affords people the opportunity to pretend to be who they’re not. As a result, someone can lie about their age, gender, name, or even appearance.
It means you may be chatting with a 50-year-old man with a criminal history while thinking you’re interacting with a teenager. Sharing your personal data with such people can put you to harm.
And even when it feels safe to chat with people, avoid giving away confidential information. The most seemingly harmless details about your life could be dangerous in the hands of strangers.
Step Away if you’re Being Cyberbullied
Cyberbullying involves electronic interactions with the intent to intimidate, harm, or threaten someone. Bullying in itself isn’t necessarily a new vice, but the advent of the internet has made it more pronounced.
As of 2019, more than 37% of Americans aged 12 to 17 have been victims of cyberbullying at least once, while about 30% have experienced this more than once, according to data from the Cyberbullying Research Center. What’s worse? Many experience cyberbullying without knowing it.
Cyberbullying can come in the form of racial abuse, body shaming, homophobia, and misogyny, to name a few. It can lead to sadness, anxiety, depression, fear, and suicidal thoughts.
Do not hesitate to step away when you’re being cyberbullied. Avoid going back to the comments and do not take them personally, no matter how hard it may seem. Also, inform a family member or friend if it gets worse. And yes, don’t forget to use the block and report features, as mentioned earlier.
Take a Break
We know the thrill that comes with playing your favorite video games online, but you can get so carried away that you end up not doing anything productive throughout the day. You can prevent this from happening by organizing your day. Assign a specific time of your day to the game and stick with the structure you set.
Besides, sitting down or staring at the monitors for long periods can pose health risks. Experts recommend no more than two hours of screen time for teenagers and adults. So, take a break from gaming and engage in other physical activities. You’ll be doing your body a huge favor by doing this.
Reckless gaming can also lead to an addiction. If you always find it difficult to drop your controllers when you have more important things to do, you could be struggling with a gaming addiction. And if you don’t control it, you may have to seek rehabilitation.
Online gaming is an embodiment of entertainment, learning, and skill acquisition, but gamers must ensure to stay safe while taking the steps outlined in this article.
Remember, don’t just play online video games; play smart.