If you only have 5 minutes:
- Never give a child credit card access for online game purchases. You should add credit to a separate online wallet that they can spend from.
- Websites and apps separate from the game that offer deals that appear to good to be true are notoriously malicious.
- Character and equipment theft can take place via in-game messages when naive users share log-in details.
What are… online games?
Online games are video games that are played through your browser or are apps that connect to the internet.
Online games are often seen to be a risk to children, but there are specific activities targeting this type of entertainment that everyone should be aware of.
- Phishing: because criminals know that games are used for credit card transactions, phishing is widespread. Never click any messages you do not know the source of in any form of online message, SMS or email.
- Use browser protection to stop these links opening if you click them by mistake. Fraud and cheating offers goods and opportunities to good to be true… and they are. These offers are normally just a front for sophisticated forms of cyber crime.
- Never install other software to allow to access the game. It is probably illegal, can see you banned and worse, you don’t know what it is doing on your kit.
- Character and equipment theft: if you have been playing a game for a long time then your character and equipment can be valuable because of accrued stats or inventory.
- You will need strong security on your devices and complex passwords to prevent your account being hacked.
- Malicious apps or ‘malware’: malware is even spread through legitimate game update mechanisms. Some of that malware is game-oriented, stealing gamers’ credentials or in-game goods, but some steal bank accounts; adds your PC, Mac, or smartphone to a botnet; or mines Bitcoins.