Understand the Risks of Gaming Platforms

Young girl wearing gamin headset and typing in credit card information on computer

Source: PCBB

As of July 2021, 76% of children under 18 years old regularly play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association. But kids aren’t the only people playing games online — 90% of current video game players are over 18 years old. Enabling children to connect to friends and strangers (many of whom could be adults or cybercriminals) in online gaming platforms exposes them to the same risks that adults face online. The financial risks of these activities are hacking and identity theft. Unfortunately, criminals are well aware of the lack of supervision and children’s susceptibility in online games, and are more than willing to take advantage of this factor.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Lloyds Bank, one out of every 10 children who use online gaming payments have been victims of gaming fraud, and that percentage is expected to rise.

Here are some tips that families can use to help limit the risk of fraud:

  • Parents should educate themselves on any parental controls available on the games their children play, impose limits on spending, and monitor their children’s activities.
  • Chat features are one of the most popular ways that hackers target children, so it is important to educate kids about the risks of revealing information to anyone they don’t know or clicking on links. Scammers also frequently impersonate in-game support and use traditional phishing emails related to gaming or event texts.
  • Usernames and passwords on gaming accounts should be unique from all other accounts, as cyberattacks often look to gain these details in hopes that people use the same credentials for other accounts.
  • Some gaming platforms provide “scrubbing” within their chat functions, which monitors specific language and blocks links.
  • Parents should actively monitor their credit cards for any suspicious activity, particularly any purchases within their child’s gaming account.
  • Parents should ensure there is up-to-date antivirus software installed on the devices used for gaming to minimize hacking risks. To take it one step further, some antivirus programs offer identity protection or VPN capabilities to make connections more secure.

To read the full PCBB article visit: Educating Customers on the Risks of Gaming Platforms (pcbb.com)