10 Tips For Being A Safer Gamer

 

More and more people are beginning to spend an increasing amount of time gaming.

But whether you are gaming with unknown players through the internet or playing by

yourself, it is vital to be aware of the potential risks and know how best to play safely

and healthily


In 2020 alone, online gaming risks have increased by more than 50% as more people sign on to it. This situation has placed online gamers at an increased risk of different kinds of online attacks. Therefore, it is essential to practice gaming safely anytime you get behind your favorite game.

So, are you uncertain whether you are safe online? Are you looking for ways to become a safe gamer? The following tips should help.


  1. Take the necessary safety precautions

First things first; before you start playing, be sure that you have all your safety and health measures in place. If you are new to gaming, one thing you will realize is that it can be a very addictive experience, and you may end up hours behind your computer.


It is recommended to have a pair of glasses to help protect your eyes from the adverse effects of long hours behind the screen. You can easily pick up a new brand of eyeglasses capable of blocking harsh rays, or take frequent breaks from your computer. During your breaks, ensure that you stretch your muscles and rest your eyes. It is also advisable to have a timetable, so you do not end up spending too much time behind your game.

 

  1. Secure your computer

Most people prefer to play on their gaming computers for the best gaming experience, although smartphones and tablets are also available. But this situation also means that you need to secure your computer to play safely. For starters, always ensure that your firewall is up-to-date to prevent unauthorized people from hacking your computer, getting access to your personal information, or sending your viruses. Also, ensure that your computer and all necessary security software are up-to-date. If you are using public Wi-Fi to play your games, then you

should get a VPN.


  1. Report any harassment

Unfortunately, online gaming is not always fun, as online harassment is increasingly becoming more prevalent, with 65% of online gamers experiencing such harassment. Therefore, it is important not to allow yourself to become a victim. Anytime a player does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you have every right to use the report function and block that person afterward. You can report to your parents if you know that person personally. Barring such a player will prevent them from reaching you again. Also, do not respond to any player that makes you feel uncomfortable. Responding is just a way of encouraging them to continue harassing you.


  1. Stick to using only your username

This security tip is especially important when playing an online game with your friends. No matter how comfortable or safe you feel, it is harmful to refer to your friends’ names by their real names. Also, refrain from using your real name at any point. In short, always stick to using only your username or usernames chosen by your friends. You can also make a pact with your friends to only use each other’s usernames anytime you are playing publicly.



  1. Protect your identity

Almost all online games require players to choose their usernames. You need to ensure that the username you choose does not give any of your details away. For example, it is not safe to use a username that contains your date of birth or even location. In short, do not use any information that gives your identity away or lets unknown players find out who you are. Indeed, some gaming experts have advised that if you have to use an avatar or profile picture as part of your online ID, it is not safe to use your selfie or photo of yourself. 


  1. Create a strong password

As one of several safety checks and security reasons, most online games require players to create passwords to protect their accounts. In some cases, the system ensures that your password is strong enough by providing recommendations and requirements. In cases where such conditions are provided, ensure that your password is a mixture of special characters (where allowed), numbers, and letters. This way, it becomes a lot more difficult for people to guess your password or go around it. Also, ensure that the password you chose does not contain any obvious information such as your name, birthday, or address.

  1. Only use sources you trust

In online gaming, just like any other online platform, some sources are not trustworthy. Platforms such as Google Play, the App Store, Microsoft Store, and PlayStation are the safest to use. Try as much as possible not to download any game from any source that you do not trust. In most cases, depending on the security settings on your device, you will receive security alerts about the reliability or otherwise of any source you attempt downloading from. But to be on the safer side, only download from trusted sources. Also, make sure that you update your games anytime a new update is made available. 


  1. Avoid automatic hidden charges

Although many online games are free to play, there are still a lot out there that come with some hidden charges. Most of these hidden charges are to unlock new features and levels in the game. To avoid making payments without your knowledge, you can set up your console to first make requests or ask for permission before any charge or transaction is completed. Set your console up to make requests for your password before any new charge is made. It is especially crucial if your online game links to your guardian or parent’s credit card. 


  1. Take a stand against online bullying

Aside from online harassment in gaming, another ugly truth about online gaming is that there are also bullies or bully accounts. Online bullying in gaming usually occurs while a game is still ongoing and shows its ugly head in many various forms. If you happen to experience online bullying while enjoying your game, do not allow it to stop you from playing. Just like online gaming harassment, you will only end up encouraging a bully account if you pay attention to them or reply to their taunts. The next thing to do after ignoring them is to block them. Doing this will ensure that they no longer have access to your account. Afterward, go ahead and report those accounts by using the report feature. When done successfully, it can lead to their account being deactivated or suspended.

On the other hand, treat other gamers with the same respect you want to receive. Do not speak with other players in a manner that you do not want to be communicated to.


  1. Keep all audios and videos between friends

It is always great to have the option of using your webcam and voice chat features to communicate with your friends when playing together, but try as much as possible to limit these features to friends only - or anyone you already know personally. Webcams are easy to hack when you are online. Therefore, when playing against strangers in public, be sure that you do not turn on your webcam feature and neither use your audio chat option. Doing this will prevent unauthorized players from hacking into your account and getting visual or audio information about you. But if you have to use those features, always ensure that you put on a face mask to cover your identity. 


Maintaining safety during gaming is very important and helps to make your experience even better and more rewarding!


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