Online gaming is a massive industry, with people taking part in every corner of the globe.
It is estimated by Venturebeat.com that more than 1.2bn people regularly play video games, with 700m playing online. They play all manner of games, from Call of Duty to Candy Crush, FIFA to Farmville and everything in between. In recent years the trend has been towards playing on mobile, with Visualcapitalist.com demonstrating how gaming revenue from phones now tops $85bn, more than PC ($40bn) and consoles ($33bn) combined.
Those figures also include the iGaming market, where players compete online for real money. This includes online slots and casinos, and it is a thriving industry. There are several reasons for the rise in popularity, with Poker.org explaining how the pandemic in 2020 saw many people pushed towards their devices for social interaction as physical locations such as poker rooms closed down. That led to a rise in revenues, according to Yogonet.com for iGaming companies, which naturally means an increase in players.
With so many people flocking to online gaming providers, the unscrupulous and criminal elements out there have plenty to target. Gaming online can be dangerous, with fraudsters and thieves out to get your details from you at a moment’s notice. How can you protect yourself from such predators? Following these simple rules should help.
Never Reveal Personal Information
Being asked for personal information is the first major warning sign that you’re being scammed. All manner of online games have chat functions, whether on console or mobile app and if you start to get unsolicited messages, it should be a warning. Never give out information about yourself, not even your full name, if you can help it.
Never Arrange to Meet Up
Never, under any circumstances, arrange to meet up with people you do not know who approach you online. This is an extreme form of danger online, which is thankfully rare, but there have been instances where vulnerable people have been targeted for more than their details. If you have any concern at all, act upon it.
If you feel you are being compromised or targeted, all online gaming providers should have tools to report such issues. Learn how to block, mute, and delete other players and understand protocols for reporting such behavior with the online gaming provider and official bodies.
Use Reputable Sites
Always use reputable sites for online gaming, especially iGaming. The original poker boom collapsed because of unscrupulous providers and a lack of trust, and the industry is heavily regulated now. That doesn’t mean there are no rogue sites out there, but a little research before playing any online casino games should lead you to proper providers with certification to prove their validity.
Always manage your passwords sensibly. Never use the same password for an online gaming account and something more important, such as a bank account or PayPal. It might be worth investing in some software to manage your passwords, such as Digital Vault or Last Pass. Both will ensure a robust password policy that should see you safe from hackers.