Cybersecurity Threats Facing Online Gamers In 2021

Online gamers are facing more cybersecurity threats than ever before. However, as long as you are savvy about protecting yourself, you can implement security protocols to ensure you stay safe when playing games online. Here is a look at the threats online gamers face in 2021.

In-game Hacking

Hackers target all types of online accounts, from social media accounts to online casinos like Thankfully, sites like the latter are fully protected to ensure hacking is virtually impossible. But that does not mean other sites are as secure, and every year hackers manage to infiltrate various online sites, including video game platforms. Online and mobile games gather lots of information about their users. The more personal the data is, the more valuable it is to hackers. For instance, mobile games often track personal information like your location, the phone calls you make, and your media engagement. Some in-game transactions and subscriptions also include financial information. So, criminals attempt to gather all kinds of personal data via hacking.

It is not only personal and financial information that hackers target, though. Hackers also go after in-game economies. In most online games, the money earned cannot be used in the real world. However, it is still a commodity for hackers. When accounts contain large amounts of in-game currencies and rare items, they can be sold for real money.

One of the simplest and best ways to protect yourself from in-game hacking is to use a strong password. You should always use a robust password that includes lowercase and uppercase letters as well as numbers. But you also need to avoid the mistake of using the same password for every gaming site you use. If you do, hackers need only gain log-in details for one game site to access all of the others. So, make sure you do not reuse the same password across multiple accounts. Furthermore, if gaming platforms offer two-factor or multi-factor authentication, make sure the features are turned on. A code is then sent to your email address or phone that you need to input on the log-in page of the gaming site to access your account.

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Research published by Kaspersky found the number of blocked attempts to direct gamers to malicious online gaming sites increased by a whopping 54% from January to April in 2020. As we head into 2021, that figure is sure to rise even more. Cybercriminals frequently use phishing campaigns to trick players of popular online games. Phishing basically involves tricking users into giving their log-in details. That can be done via malicious email links that pretend to be from reputable games sites or by setting up fake log-in pages.

To prevent being tricked by phishing sites, you should never click a link without being certain about where it will send you. Genuine emails from authentic gaming platforms will never ask you for log-in details or personal data. If you are unsure whether an email link is genuine, always contact the support team to find out. Similarly, landing pages of gaming sites will never ask for additional information to log in, other than the usual username and password.


Overlapping with phishing methods to steal sensitive information and account details is the use of vectors to spread malware. Malware downloads are often used in competitive games. For example, hackers can convince players to download a malicious application that promises to provide players with game cheats and hacks to gain an advantage over other players.

You can avoid malware by running antivirus software. But many gamers still do not do that as they believe it will affect the performance of the games they are playing. Indeed, that is a realistic concern, but you can find antimalware software that features game modes to ensure performance is kept high when gaming online.

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