Online Gaming and Cybercrime

Online gaming is more popular than ever before. There are millions of games to choose from and dozens of devices to play them on. From puzzles and strategy games to choose your own adventure and Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs), the options for fun and friendly competition are endless! However, as with anything on the internet, online gaming poses a risk of cybercrime exposure. These cybercrime risks include accidentally downloading malicious apps, cyberbullying or even exposure of personal information. 

We’re here to help you handle each type of cybercrime exposure:

Malicious applications: It’s all fun and games until your child accidentally downloads a malicious gaming app! With such a range of gaming options, it can be tough to know what’s safe and what’s a scam. Malware can steal personal data without permission, slow down your devices, and even cause them to crash. Knowing where to go to find safe apps is important. Learn more about malicious apps in this Forbes article. If your child happens to download an illegitimate game or app, visit FraudSupport.org’s malware support page for immediate action steps and recovery options. 

Cyberbullying: Online gaming also puts children at risk for cyberbullying, harassment, or inappropriate contact from other gamers. This is the modern-day “stranger danger”! This cybercrime risk is posed by the popularity of MMOs. Often times, these games will include communication functions like chat-rooms or live-calling. The National Center for Cyber Safety and Security created an infographic that details the severity of stranger danger online. If you believe your child is being victimized by cyberbullying, harassment, or unsafe contact from strangers; we can help. Visit our children, teens, and young adult resource page for warning signs and resources. 

Privacy breach: If your child’s gaming username reveals personal information, like their real name or location, this could pose a serious privacy risk. Cybercriminals can use data from multiple gaming sources to gain access to your child’s personal information. If a cybercriminal gets access to this information, your child’s device could be hacked. If this happens, visit our hacked account support page for help. For information on how to protect your child’s safety while they game online, visit the FTC’s* resource page.

Want tips on how to talk to your child about online gaming? Netsmartz* has a great collection of conversation starters to help you address the topic. Stay tuned over the next week as we share a daily blog introducing a new cybercrime topic that affects young people. 

Sources
* ftc.gov
*http://missingkids-prod64.adobecqms.net/netsmartz/home

Online Gaming and Cybercrime Poster

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Online Gaming and Cybercrime Poster

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