Cyber experts are urging Scottish gamers to avoid sinister cyber attacks by improving their cybersecurity awareness.
SBRC was established to create a secure environment where businesses can trade securely. It works closely with partners, members and stakeholders to help make Scotland a more resilient and secure place to live and work.
According to research by Kaspersky Lab, the global gaming audience is estimated to be between 2.2 to 2.6 billion and is a prime target for cybercriminals looking to steal sensitive information from unwitting players.
Although many gamers have experience operating online, more than half (56%) admit they do not take any additional security precautions when using public networks – practices that are putting many at risk.
Gerry Grant, chief ethical hacker with Curious Frank, a division of the SBRC, said there are many precautions gamers can take to stay secure.
“Providing your real birth name, address and birth date may not be necessary for your gaming experience, especially if you are under the age of 18,” Grant explained. “Make sure to use a strong passphrase of at least 12 characters that you have not used on any other website or game.
“Don’t download or open attachments in unexpected emails or click links from other gamers offering discounts, “hidden” content or access to a new game. These links may let attackers see your information.”
A recent study by payment solutions firm, ACI Worldwide and gaming research company, Newzoo, suggests that as many as one-in-five gamers have been victims of fraud while using popular games.
With the growing popularity of online multiplayer games, steeped in additional premium content and in-game currencies, many gamers look to alternative websites to purchase items skins or find cheaper prices on downloadable add-ons.
Cybercriminals are pouncing on younger gamers, in particular, who may not be as cyber-savvy as their more experienced counterparts. Grant underlined a number of ways that gamers can ensure they are purchasing from trusted websites.
“Ensure you double-check website addresses and branding on websites, if you are suspicious, find the intended website via a search engine, or bookmark in your browser,” he said. “Make sure you only buy in-game currency from trusted and authorised websites.”
When purchasing content online, Grant recommended that gamers improve security practices by implementing verification protocols or using services with tighter security measures.
“If you are making online, in-game purchases, as your card provider about verification services for online transactions,” Grant explained. “Use payment methods like PayPal, which offer extra security measures and purchasing protection.”