Online gaming is an absolute joy. It can be thrilling, engaging, social and utterly enjoyable. However, it also has the potential to find some less favourable ends—from bullying and data-loss to online predation.
That is why it’s incredibly important to keep in mind a number of things when gaming online, as to secure yourself while having the most enjoyable time possible.
We’ll split the overall safety concerns into two major categories: social and informational.
Virtual Private Networks provide you with total privacy and anonymity by creating private networks within public internet connections. This masks your IP address, while also allowing you to access location-specific internet content depending on the location of your VPN.
For gaming VPNs have multiple benefits. First they ensure all your information is not traceable to your IP address. Second, they help to avoid internet service providers from throttling or slowing down bandwidth by encrypting your data. And thirdly they can hep you to reduce lag or ping by connecting to a long-distance server.
That said, to reap the benefits of a gaming VPN you must ensure that the VPN has sufficient speed.
Securing Your Account
Keeping long passwords is a no-brainer, as it reduces the risk of cyber-attack—but that said many of us still use flimsy passwords.
Thus, take the time to make a secure password so that your account, and whatever it contains, is less likely to be broken into.
Never Share Your Information
Giving out personal information online or in real life is a huge red flag, so simply don’t do it. Simply refer to yourself as your character name or account name, and if asked don’t disclose any information about your personal whereabouts, email address, bank details or any of the like.
Information means power, so make sure you keep it all in your court and don’t give it up.
Social Problems when Gaming Online
We’ve all experienced people rage online. Whether it be frustrated comments, name calling or derogatory slurs. But as players often invest themselves in games, these can often get ugly—fast.
If you, or whoever is playing, are averse to such inflammatory comments, most games provide you with numerous options to avoid such encounters. These range from muting microphones to disabling typed chat.
And, if after a while you find yourself being the one hurling insults ensure you are taking frequent breaks to cool off. This can not only help improve your mood but can help improve your experience of the game as a whole.
Protecting Young Gamers
Young gamers shouldn’t be exposed to certain types of content. The simplest way to judge this is by looking at the age classification for any particular game, and ensuring to abide by them.
However certain online games run the risk of surpassing their age rating due to player-driven elements like typed of voice chats.
For such titles, it can be wise to ensure profanity filters are enabled and young players are not connected to voice-chat features.
Furthermore, if a young person has had a negative or aggressive experience in a given title, make sure to treat the situation seriously, with attentive care to provide a good point of reflection on the experience as a whole.
But, when it is possible, it is always worth trying to mitigate all the risks—so if in doubt, check the settings and landscape of an online game before providing it to underaged players.
Keeping Social Relationships Safe
While social relationships made in games can be fun, it is important that they remain safe. This is primarily done by ensuring your personal information remains safe.
However, as cyber bullies and online predators can exist within online games, it is especially important to ensure any social interactions remain primarily focused on the game at hand. Thus, if there is ever any talk of real names, addresses, face-to-face meetings or even webcam chats, treat these will all seriousness.
Furthermore, if you are a young gamer it is incredibly important to turn down all types of further interaction with online-only friends.
Enjoying Online Games, Safely
While this information all comes with a serious edge, once taken to heart these simple tips can ensure that your gaming experience can be both safe and enjoyable.
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