Given the amount of personal data we keep on our smartphones, this can make gamers susceptible to serious hacks. When our children are playing games online (with 63% of children aged two to 17 using mobile devices to play), they can be vulnerable to other threats as well.
While EEDAR reports that only 8% of gamers have experienced an account hack and 18% a DDoS attack, most report that “they are concerned about them both in the context of gaming (78% and 72% respectively), and when considering the use of online storefronts (94% and 89%).” This means it’s important to set clear guidelines with your children regarding their allowance to make purchases from online gaming storefronts, and, if so, which ones. Furthermore, make sure they know not to click on any suspicious links from other users within the gaming platform, as this may be a phishing attempt.
Revealing Personal Information
Be sure your children create usernames that are completely unrelated to their legal names or addresses. They should also never reveal this information to anyone on gaming platforms. The US Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber+Infrastructure arm, known as CISA or US-CERT, notes that “some computer intruders may use the social interaction of the online gaming environment in an attempt to inappropriately contact children by pretending to be another child, setting up meetings, or tricking them into revealing personal information.”
Given that many players can now talk to one another online while gaming, it’s not uncommon for cyberbullying to occur. In fact, one study found that “aggression characterized gaming culture and pervaded gaming platforms and anonymity contributed to the culture of aggression.”
Want to learn more about how you can protect your children from these threats? ID Mentor can help.