The holiday season is the perfect time to sit down, relax, and enjoy some of your favorite games. Many of the most popular games are sold during the holidays, attracting thousands of dedicated players. Unfortunately, the holidays are also a period of increased cyber risk as people spend more time online. This article will cover why cyber-risks increase during the holiday season and how gamers can stay protected.
Why cyber risks increase during the holidays
There are several reasons why cyber risks may increase for gamers during the holiday season:
1. Increased online shopping
The holiday season is a busy time for online shopping, and gamers may be more likely to purchase games or gaming-related items online. This can increase the risk of cyber attacks, such as phishing scams or credit card fraud.
2. More time spent online
The holiday season comes with time off work or school; many people may spend more time gaming online. This can increase the risk of cyber attacks, as hackers may have more opportunities to target users who are online for extended periods of time.
The holiday season is a busy and stressful time for many people, and gamers may be more distracted and less likely to pay attention to security best practices. This can make it easier for hackers to target them.
4. New devices
The holiday season is a popular time for gifting new devices, such as gaming consoles or laptops. These new devices may not be properly secured, increasing the risk of cyber attacks.
Main cyber threats for gamers
Gamers face several cyber threats, which may increase during the holiday season. Phishing scams are very common as is, becoming an even more significant threat during this period.
Account scams are also highly prevalent. These scams revolve around attackers creating multiple gaming accounts and building them up. The attackers then play and build up the accounts to make them attractive for gamers interested in buying a well-stocked account. Many times, however, gaming websites detect fraud and ban the account, leaving the sellers as the sole winners of the deal.
Other developing threats include:
Discord is the main communication platform for gamers. It’s also a breeding ground for fraud. Threat actors are spreading phishing messages, malware, and other harmful content via the platform. Since gamers aren’t used to being targeted on the platform, they are likely to fall for some of these scams.
Reverse proxy phishing
Reverse proxy phishing is a type of phishing attack that involves the use of a reverse proxy. In this type of attack, the attacker sets up a fake gaming website that looks legitimate and then uses a reverse proxy to redirect traffic from the legitimate website to the fake one. This allows the attacker to capture login credentials, personal information, and other sensitive data from unsuspecting users.
Fake online marketplaces
Fake marketplaces are fraudulent websites that aim to obtain unsuspecting buyers’ financial information. The sites will list the most popular games and offer them at absurdly discounted prices. A good way to recognize a fake website is if the prices are too good. You should also verify the validity of the website. You can do so by Googling the website name + reviews.
Useful measures of protection for gamers
There are several things gamers can do to maximize their protection during the holidays. The main thing to remember is to stay vigilant when browsing and not click on any suspicious links or attachments. This should also translate into seemingly familiar gaming platforms like Discord and Steam. These platforms are increasingly becoming a hub for spreading harmful content, including malware.
Gamers should also consider using cybersecurity tools like a password manager. A password manager will generate and store strong passwords for your gaming accounts, making it easy and safe to navigate through them.
A VPN is another tool that should be a gamer’s best friend. A VPN can help protect your online privacy by encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address. This can help prevent others from tracking your online activity.
The holidays are the best time to catch up on your favorite games. You have time off from school and work and some pretty sweet holiday deals. However, this is also a time of increased cyber risk. Threat actors are trying to capitalize on the increased online activity, launching many attacks.
Gamers must be careful when purchasing online content like video games and ensure they buy from legitimate websites. There are many fraudulent marketplaces online you wouldn’t want to provide your financial information.