Gaming as we know it is changing forever. Video games used to run only on consoles back in the day. PC gaming took over somewhere during the late 90s, and it’s still one of the most popular gaming platforms today. However, with the invention of smartphones, many developers switched to making mobile games.
The mobile gaming industry makes billions of dollars every year, and hackers are well aware of the situation. They keep looking for new ways to breach devices and steal information they can later use to make money. Many game apps miss even basic security measures, so keep reading if you want to make sure that your device is protected at all times.
Problems for mobile gamers
Gamers usually do not pay attention to their security, especially those playing on mobile devices. Installing games takes a minute (or longer, depending on your internet speed), and there is a wide selection of games. Sadly, not all of them are safe. You can see repetitive announcements of new apps being detected as malicious. On the surface, they might seem ordinary, but there are certain red flags you can look for. For instance, if a simple app requires access to your photos, contacts, and storage, question these conditions. Why does a game need your photos? In some cases, malicious apps can steal your data without your knowledge but with your permission.
Another risk to online gaming is that you will meet strangers. On the surface, they might be friendly and helpful. However, their true intentions could be more malicious than expected. They might trick you into opening malicious websites or downloading harmful files. In other cases, such interactions could be especially detrimental to children that could be more naive and easier to mislead.
While this method may seem like a long shot, it is very effective, and hackers use it to steal personal information all the time. Even if your phone has adequate protection, hackers could already have some pieces of your login information taken from other websites.
Many people use the same credentials everywhere they create a profile. If that’s the case, a hacker can get your information on some other site and use it to breach your entire system, email, social media; you name it. Their success rate isn’t that high, but even a low rate is good enough. Why? Well, once a hacker manages to log into your phone’s gaming account, he can steal your credit card information and other useful info. You might think that mobile gaming is safe but think again.
Forget About Cheat Codes and Giveaways
If you’re a fan of mobile gaming, you must have come across websites or YouTube videos that claim that you can get a lot of credits and power-ups for free. The process usually includes downloading a “patch” or leaving your profile information such as username and emails. Hackers then use the information you provided to dig for more details and eventually break into your device.
Other methods include selling power-ups, cheat codes, and other upgrades for a fraction of the original price. Once you pay the dealers, they just disappear, and you don’t get anything in return. Scammers are waiting behind every corner so if you’re planning on spending money on in-game items, do so only in the game.
Phishing is Still a Danger
Phishing is one of the oldest methods still used by hackers to steal information. They send emails or texts to victims, and the moment they open the link inside, hackers gain access to their devices. These attacks usually target financial information, private information, and the passwords you use.
Phishing attacks became much less obvious over the years, which is why you shouldn’t open any emails or text messages from unknown senders. Only one mistake is enough for the hackers to take full control of your device and extract the information they want.
Protection is Crucial
Mobile gaming was never safe, but these days it’s much more dangerous than ever before. Hackers have realized that the mobile gaming market keeps growing very quickly, and they want their piece of the cake. Apart from using the standard security features on your smartphone, installing an Android VPN will ensure that you stay hidden when you’re connected online. Additionally, a VPN encrypts all your online traffic, making it nearly impossible for someone to listen in on your activities. This tool is especially useful if you connect to public Wi-Fi spots. We all that mobile gaming can be extremely addicting. Be it shooting enemies or watering crops; you might need to perform these actions at any time. Even though public Wi-Fi is convenient, it poses additional risks. For instance, nearby entities could snoop on your activities. Even if you are simply playing a game, ensure that this activity is done safely.