The good times are rolling for videogame companies as the sector has witnessed sustained growth in the last few years and, luckily, 2015 doesn’t look like it’s about to break this trend. According to recent estimates by Newzoo, an industry consultant, businesses in the sector are expecting global gaming revenues of $91.5 billion dollars – an increase of 9.4% compared to the previous year.
This rapid growth is in large part thanks to the boom in mobile and tablet gaming, which have registered revenues of $20.6 billion and $9.4 billion, respectively. They have also seen the largest rise increase compared to the previous year – 21% and 27%, respectively – although they still trail video consoles ($25 billion) and computers ($27 billion), which continue to lead the sector.
Despite this all being great news for video gamers, we still have to keep in mind the increasing danger posed by cyber-criminals. In the last few months we have seen some not-so-pleasant attacks which have been of a worrying frequency.
Last summer we saw how a wave of Distribution Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks infiltrated, to name a few, popular platforms such as the Playstation Network, Xbox live, Twitch and Origin. The attacks, which denied users access to online gaming, were repeated again over the festive season. Groups such as Lizard Squad and Anonymous claimed responsibility for accessing, and leaking, as many as 13,000 passwords and credit card details from these platforms.
In January of this year, various users of Origin (Electronic Arts) complained that the service – including the online store – was carrying out charges to their bank accounts for purchases that the users hadn’t authorized. Twitch, Amazon’s well known streaming page, asked its users to change their passwords at the end of March following an attack that could have left log-in details exposed.
With this in mind, the best thing that any gamer can do is to take precautions when playing online. By following some simple steps you can avoid trouble if your favorite gaming platforms are targeted.
How to play safely
- Don’t use your personal email address on gaming sites. If you create a new one, or even a disposable account, the hackers won’t be able to access personal information such as your contact list.
- If you don’t play on buying games or add-ons during, don’t give out your credit card details – it’s an unnecessary risk.
- Some platforms offer you the possibility of verifying your identity in two steps in order to protect your account. Don’t overlook this invaluable tool.
- Before entering personal details into the registration form, ensure that it is an official page and not a copy. Phishing attacks are, sadly, rampant and a good way to make sure you’re not being duped is to click on the logos and links to verify their authenticity.
- Finally, and most importantly, keep your antivirus up to date. Our antivirus software will detect fraudulent pages and the possible malware that will try to install itself on your computer.
By following these tips and using common sense, you can enjoy your favorite games without fear of anything bad happening during your gaming experience. Online security is no joke, so it is important to always play safely.