7 Essential Strategies to Secure Your Gaming Accounts: Preventing Theft and Cheating

September 22, 2023

The rapid expansion of the gaming industry is enabling gamers to make money in addition to getting entertained. It is now common for gamers to monitor and save their progress for qualifying for prize money or sponsorships and adding their streaming content on social media on demand. Their unique user accounts and gaming activities are important to their success.

However, gaming accounts, like other online accounts, need to be safeguarded from fraudulent activities. This is because these accounts hold details on each user’s age, sex, location, nationality, and financial transactions, and a security breach can disclose this information to online thieves and cheaters.

A recent report by Kaspersky reveals that BloodyStealer, the latest Trojan horse sold on the dark web, is getting used to target accounts on well-known gaming platforms, from Steam and Epic to GoG, PlayStation Network and others. Malicious actors steal account information to resell on underground forums, possess points or bonuses, or use another player for their own goals.

But all of these moves can be prevented by following some best practices. This post will cover how gamers can protect their gaming accounts from theft and cheating. 

7 Ways to Protect Your Gaming Accounts

To save yourself and other gamers from online attacks, it is important to get familiar with the current security practices for theft and cheating prevention. Here are our seven recommendations to keep your online gaming account protected from bad actors:

Set Strong Passwords

Perhaps, the most famous internet safety tip is choosing a strong password. This is because simple passwords are easy to guess or remember, which makes it a breeze for hackers to gain unfettered access to accounts.

Strong passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to gaming accounts‍
Strong passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to digital accounts and files

So, using a strong password containing at least 12 characters, letters, numbers, and symbols is ideal. A password should not contain personal information that might be easy to guess, like your pet's name, birthdate, or loved one's name. If you find it difficult to keep track of your different passwords, try using a password manager.

Enable Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds another level of security to online accounts, and now some gaming systems also allow for MFA. This authentication method includes biometrics, security keys, or applications that send you a one-time password (OTP) when you want to log on to an account.

It is highly recommended to use MFA whenever offered, as it provides additional security to your gaming account and protects your login information from brute-force attacks. Some games also provide in-game rewards to players who enable it.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Nowadays, it is common for places like airports, hotels, and coffee shops to offer Wi-Fi for free. Those who play online games on-the-go use it without realizing the risks of public network.

Unsecured public networks are prime spots for hackers to access your sensitive information and still gaming account passwords‍
Unsecured public networks are prime spots for hackers to access your sensitive information

These networks require no authentication to establish a connection, making it easy for hackers to position themselves between a user and the connection point and grab their passwords. So, gamers who often provide their financial information while playing should wait until they are on a trusted password-protected network.

Use Event Logs

Today’s gaming platforms enable gamers to access and play games via various endpoint devices, which makes it almost impractical to manage their network securely. So, to improve network security, you can consider using event logs or files that have sensitive information related to operating system, application, or device usage.

Event logs track any suspicious account activity, like a login attempt from a new/different device, multiple login attempts, a request to change the password, or a multi-factor update. In case of suspicious activities, users are notified and asked to confirm that they have performed the actions.

Be Wary About Phishing Scams

Phishing scams offering cheats or hacks have become highly common in the gaming world. Cyber attackers usually entice gamers into clicking bad links or downloading infected files. The moment a gamer clicks on a link or downloads any file, hackers can instantaneously acquire their account information and steal in-game currency to purchase and sell expensive items.

Simply put, think twice before doing so. If a link appears dubious or a stranger sent you a tempting cheat code out of nowhere, odds are, it is too good to be true. Avoid opening any attachments, clicking on links, or responding to emails you don’t feel sure about.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

All those who play online games should conceal their geographic location to protect their identity. One good approach is to use a virtual private network or VPN, which gives the impression that your device is somewhere else in the world, preventing attackers from spotting your location.

A VPN is a service used to increase protection against attacks like DDoS in competitive gaming scenarios. Additional safety is provided when performing data and bank transactions, as VPNs give users an untraceable connection.

A VPN is similar to a tunnel, keeping your online activities safe from hackers and snoopers‍
A VPN is similar to a tunnel, keeping your online activities safe from hackers and snoopers

Before selecting a VPN, go through the terms of service to ensure you get what is included, like their privacy policy. Note that some VPN services claim to provide a higher level of protection against malware and phishing websites than others. NordVPN and Surfshurk are the two best options for protecting your gaming accounts; however, their security levels differs.

Download Games from Legit Sources Only

Among the most common ways of opening yourself up to malware is downloading files from unverified sources. Whether it's games, cheat codes, or third-party add-ons, downloading from pirated or unofficial sources risks introducing viruses or malware onto your device.

So, stick to reputable websites for downloading files to boost game security. Carefully look at the URL before entering sensitive information or clicking the download link.

Final Thoughts

The gaming world is just as vulnerable to data breaches and malicious attacks as any other industry. To protect your gaming account, you need to implement security practices so that hackers do not gain access to your sensitive information.

Following the best practices mentioned above will secure your gaming accounts and enable you to play games freely on various platforms.

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