We are all aware of the fact that online gaming has come a long way and for the better. Gone are the days when you had to deal with abysmal net code and a plethora of other issues plaguing your experience. You can now game online carelessly and have a lot of fun. However, one important thing to note is that while the gaming industry and online gaming as a whole have evolved, the same goes for all the malpractices that can take place when you are gaming online.
Yes, you are now more susceptible to online attacks on your privacy, data, or both. Then there is a risk of being swatted, which has become a terrible sensation in the world of online gaming. Amidst all of this, one must always understand how to protect themselves when gaming online. The whole topic might look rudimentary at best, but it is important to be well-prepared about the situation instead of getting yourself in a mess.
Below, we have some tips for you that will help you stay safe while gaming online. So, let’s not digress any further and have a look, shall we?
1. Always Have a Username
Let’s start with the obvious out of the way. When you are gaming online, I would always suggest that you use an alias or a username on the internet. Why? Well, unlike social media platforms, where you are most likely connected to the people you know in real life, online gaming is a bit different since you are playing with a lot of strangers, and you do not want to give away your identity that easily. It is always better to have an alias while playing online, or you can just use wordplay for your name.
2. Avoid Info Dumping
For those who are not sure what info dumping is, it is an act in which you end up sharing all your personal information with people you are playing online. Whether you do it knowingly or unknowingly does not matter because having personal information in the hands of strangers is never good, as it can lead to a lot of issues. Whether you are competitively playing Mortal Kombat 11 or you are just relaxing in Cafecasino, it is always better that you avoid sharing your personal information with anyone. This needs to be practiced on a stricter level when you are playing and streaming at the same time because, in that case, the chances of your information leaking are a lot higher.
3. Be Nice to Everyone
For a lot of newcomers, online gaming can be a slippery slope in a way that most of the time, people are not really sure what they should be doing and what they shouldn’t be doing. A general rule of thumb is that when you are gaming online, it is better to be nice to everyone. Avoid abuse and discrimination of any kind, and most importantly, be sure of the fact that whatever malicious behavior you partake in can be reported.
Sure, funny banter like tea-bagging is fine but going one step further and abusing the other players is never a good thing to do.
4. Avoid Suspicious Trading
It is important to know that online gaming is a world in itself, and it is like a living ecosystem with a lot of small and big parts working together, and trading is just one of many parts. Trading has become a really good way of handing over the items you don’t need for the items that you have been looking for, and even cash in some instances.
Take Elden Ring for instance, you can hand over the weapons you don’t need for something you have been looking for, but the reason why it can harm you is that often you might be handed an item that is not in the game but was obtained through some means that are not in line with the game’s rules. In that case, it can get you banned.
Similarly, it is always advised that if you do want to trade, do so using the platform rather than doing it outside the platform because you can easily run into issues that way.
5. Don’t Cheat
While online gaming is a lot of fun to take part in, cheating is something that has become prevalent in the community and has existed for a long, long time. Sadly, cheating is not of a kind, either—as there are several ways to cheat depending on the game you are playing.
Take Mortal Kombat 11, for instance. I have seen cheats in which the entire game slows down for you to a point where you cannot really input combos or telegraph moves the way you would want to. Then you have shooters in which cheating can be done through aimbot, wall hacks, and more.
Some games have stricter rules against cheaters, but not all games do. For instance, Elden Ring is so strict about cheating that even something as simple as using a cheat code to level up your character for offline play has the risk of getting you banned.
If you want to keep your account safe, avoid getting into such situations because you can lose access to it.
6. Two-Factor Authentication is Your Friend
Now, this is something that should not really be surprising, but when you are looking at online gaming or your online presence in general, the one thing that I always suggest to everyone is to use two-factor authentication. I do understand that for a lot of people, it does sound like a painstaking task to take part in, but it will keep you safe.
I don’t really need to explain how two-factor authentication works, but it does add an extra layer of protection to all your accounts. If you want to ensure that your account remains protected at all costs, this is an excellent way of doing so, and you will not regret it at all.
7. Avoid Buying Games from Untrusted Sources
Back when Battlefield 3 came out, everyone was rushing to buy the game and those who could not afford to pay $60 at that time decided to opt for much cheaper alternatives from third-party sources. Nothing wrong with it, right? Well, that would have been the case, but most of the keys they bought were acquired through malicious ways, and most of them were in different languages.
What happened was that the keys got revoked one after the other, and a lot of players ended up losing their money in the process, which is never a good thing.
The point here is that you should get games from trusted sources, and if they are expensive, you can wait for them to go on sale, which eventually will happen, and you will be able to enjoy the game knowing there is nothing revoking your access.
8. Use a Credit Card
This is an excellent segue from the previous point where we talked about buying games from trusted sources. Another thing that I can suggest is that you get a game using a credit card. Why? Well, compared to debit cards, credit cards are better in a way that they have higher protection against theft, malicious use, or even insurance. So, in case you want to refund a game that you have purchased using a credit card, you can be sure that you are getting your money back.
9. Avoid Free VPNs
I do understand that VPNs can be incredibly tempting, and almost all of us have fallen prey to at least one instance where we were using a VPN we weren’t supposed to. The key here is that you should always, at all costs, avoid free VPNs because not doing so is only going to make things worse, and we do not want to be in that situation to begin with.
There are some excellent paid VPNs that you can get your hands on but never go for something free because there are a lot of risks associated with those, including the most common one in which the VPN turns your computer into a node and sells your bandwidth to other users.
Free VPNs are also not as secure as you might think, and speed is also going to be an issue, so be sure that you are avoiding that situation.
10. Try and Protect Yourself from Mods
Moving further, another really important tip that I can give to you is that when you are gaming online, protect yourself from third-party mods. Now, mods, in general, are largely harmless when you are talking about offline gaming, but when we talk about online gaming, things can be very, very complicated.
Mods are not good for online gaming because they modify the game files, the same files that might be used by the game while playing online, and considering how it can screw things up royally for you and even get you a permanent ban from the game.
Similarly, avoid anything that promises to help you be a better player in online gaming because, aside from your skill, you cannot really do much.
11. Always Use Your Own Account
I don’t think this one needs to be made obvious, but when you are playing online, it would always be the right thing to do that you are using your own account. Why? Well, you do not want to go ahead and use someone else’s account because you aren’t just putting yourself at risk but the owner of the account, as well.
This could result in your own gaming experience being terrible and someone else’s account being at risk.
12. A Strong Password Goes a Long Way
Perhaps one of the simplest things that most people don’t know is that a strong password is an excellent foundation for ensuring that nothing really goes wrong in the process. If you do go ahead and create a strong password for your account, you will be certain that you are not going to run into any issues that might come in your way.
Simply put, a stronger password would mean that people will have a harder time getting access to your account, and you might be wondering why anyone would want access to your account and that is a valid question, but the internet is a wild place, and having your account stolen is not at all uncommon.
A strong password coupled with two-factor authentication is an excellent way of ensuring your account remains safe.
13. A Big No to Piracy
The last tip that I have for you is that you should, at all costs, avoid any form of piracy when you are gaming online. Thankfully, pirated games cannot be played online, but there are still a lot of tools that you can use to play paid games with a competitive advantage but piracy is not going to do you any good, and that is one thing that I will always tell you to avoid if you want to be as protected as you can possibly be.
There you have it, people. If you have been spending your time trying to figure out what can be done to stay safe online while gaming, this article is for you because we have listed some of the most crucial tips that can help you play online with ease.
Whether you are playing competitively or casually, this article is the way to go, and you will not have any issues that might come in your way later down the road.