X Close Search

Personal Security

personal security when playing games online

PERSONAL SECURITY WHEN PLAYING VIDEO GAMES

Dealing with an individual incident of digital abuse by an anonymous gamer is one thing. Dealing with long-term, targeted campaigns of abuse and harassment is another. Protecting your personal identity and safeguarding your personal information is something you should do to reduce the risk of being targeted in real life.

Use the tips below to maintain a healthy level of anonymity when playing video games online. Remember to make use of our Global Support Service if you are affected by any form of harassment or abuse online.

USING Messaging and live chat SAFELY

  • Never reveal personal details such as your full name, date of birth, address, names of close friends or relatives or phone number to anyone. It is easy to become relaxed and open when talking to someone who appears to be friendly, so always be aware that the person you are talking to may not be alone, or even be who they say they are. This also applies to people that you know in real life. They may not reveal information about you on purpose but they may do so indirectly or have their own security breached, which may reveal something about you.
  • Skype is a popular way of chatting with people and is used widely within the gaming community. Skype handles can be risky as someone can impersonate you or hack your account causing problems for you and your contacts. Microsoft provide support for Skype account holders and can freeze your account and help you to regain control. You can find out more about Skype support here.

Password Security

Having a policy of using strong passwords that you change every few months is very important. Using names and exchanging letters for numbers or symbols is one way of doing this but it can be very difficult to manage or even remember them! One simple way to create a strong password is to use a number of random words strung together as this is much harder to crack. Storing your passwords on your computer or phone increases your chances of having your accounts hacked or hijacked. Write them down the old fashioned way on paper but remember to keep them as safe as your passport or wallet. Try to use different passwords for different accounts too, otherwise if one account gets compromised they will all get compromised!

Example OF A STRONG Password THAT IS EASY TO REMEMBER

Take four common but unrelated words such as, wheel sausages monkey ladder. This random phrase can be remembered by creating a story that is easy to recall – “I was on my bike (wheel) returning from the butchers (sausages) when a monkey grabbed my bag and ran up a ladder.” You can further strengthen the password by using capital letters at the start of each word and finishing the sentence with an exclamation mark or some other symbol. This is known as visualization and association. You visualize the story and associate it with the key words. Alternatively, you could just write it down and keep it somewhere safe!

Secure Email Accounts

For added security and peace of mind you should create email accounts for specific games or platforms that you use. You may want one for your social media activity and another for the games you play. This reduces the risk of someone accessing your personal emails and information.

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS FREQUENTLY

We have mentioned this previously but it is so important that we are saying it again! Change your password regularly – put a note on your calendar every couple of months to remind you. This will not only make your accounts online much safer, it will also give you added peace of mind, especially if you have been targeted in the past or suspect someone may be planning to.

RESPECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION AND PROTECT IT

Nobody wants to be on a constant state of alert but you should always be aware of the potential dangers online and take the necessary steps to ensure your own security is protected. Taking the steps we recommend will help you to stay secure online whether you are playing video games, using social media or commenting on a forum. You can use our online safety suggestions to manage and control your personal security across all your accounts online.