Mobile gaming is changing the shape of online gaming but how safe is it?

Mobile gaming is huge! According to a report recently released by market research firm SuperData, the global mobile gaming sales revenue in 2016 was over $40 billion. The mobile gaming market is now bigger than the global tea market and the global naval market. According to SuperData, the trend will only increase as mobile gaming is getting the support of the emerging multi-billion VR industry.

In 2016 more than 97% of VR headsets sold were for mobile devices. Having in mind the price Oculus, Sony and HTC are offering for their flag products; it is not a surprise that budget solutions such as Google cardboard and Samsung Gear VR ended up accounting for almost all VR headsets sold last year.

While maritime safety and tea are losing the battle against Candy Crush Saga and Pokemon GO, the security of the people enjoying the perks of their ultra-powerful mobile handsets might be compromised.

Here’s a top 5 list for mobile gaming dangers

Virtual and Augmented Reality

It may sound tempting to be able to teleport yourself onto a roller coaster while sitting on the couch at home, but games which break the perception of the presence could be dangerous. Similar to motion sickness, some VR players tend to experience virtual reality sickness. Stop gaming immediately should you start feeling disoriented or you have symptoms such as a headache or nausea. There are reported cases of people who lost their lives while hunting Pokémons so augmented reality could be dangerous too. Keep your eyes open for the surrounding area!

Hidden Fees

You’ve finally found the most amazing mobile game in the world – it has amazing graphics, it is real time, and the game is endorsed by your favourite celebrity! What could go wrong? A lot of things, such as the status of your bank account. Mobile games sometimes have in-app purchases, make sure you check before getting an additional weapon or skipping an advert that is currently playing it may end up costing you real money. Unfortunately, they do not accept doubloons in the real world, so the more prepared you are, the better.

It is a well-known fact that 90% of the children, aged 12 years or less, are mobile gamers (using their cell phone or a borrow from a family member) and these phones need to be protected to avoid the potentials risks of uncontrolled purchases.

Approved Apps

Make sure to always download applications from the Play Store or the App Store. Sometimes apps connect to your social media profiles, and they can see personal information such as your full name, date of birth, location and even your home address.

If the app you have on your phone is not approved, you may end up not only sharing all this valuable information with the wrong people, but you may install a virus on your phone that can lurk around your mobile handset and steal your passwords. Stay alerted and stick to the approved apps on the Play Store and the App Store, and even then, use services that allow you to scan the applications that you are installing on your phone.

To use this feature, you must set an unlock PIN and select the apps you want to lock. Should you forget your PIN, you’ll be able to reset it through your Panda Security account.

Maturity filters

Children already spend more time on the Internet than watching TV. Their favourite content is on emerging video platforms such as YouTube. A huge percentage of children nowadays have smartphones, and even though regulations tend to be strict, you don’t want your kid to be able to access chat rooms and content that is not monitored by you. Predators thrive on new ways of getting in touch with vulnerable people, and mobile gaming is one of those places.

Some games have chat rooms where people can socialize. Relying on admins may not be a full solution so make sure you know where you and your kids go while taking a breath before launching the next game on your cell phone. Always check out the PEGI ratings of an app before you let your child access it unless you want your 13-year-old son to get better than you on Texas hold ’em poker. Kids need restriction so don’t forget to use a PIN-protect access to the apps you want to control.

Panda’s Mobile Security for Android has a feature that allows you to PIN-protect access to your apps. The feature comes with privacy protection that prevents from unauthorized access to messaging apps and social media sites. The feature also comes with parental control functions that help you restrict the little ones from accessing certain apps, games, etc.

Expect the unexpected

Hackers are cruel and unfortunately technology savvy. They are always finding new ways of approaching you and your loved ones. Innovation is what they do best, and even though antivirus companies tend to be a step ahead of them, not everyone has protection. As mobile phones and mobile gaming are taking an increasingly bigger part of our lives, we firmly advise you to keep your eyes open and always bear in mind that sometimes even the App Store and the Play Store might miss something and let you install an infected app.

Good news is Panda allows you to scan applications before installing or updating an app.

While hackers keep finding new ways to get your money, we are solely focused on preventing them from being successful by constantly adapting to their new habits.

Luckily, Panda Security offers the best mobile security protection for all your devices including cell phones and tablets. Check out our security service solution here and be protected while gaming on your mobile device.