Six Tips for More Secure Online Gaming

Computer games have come a long way since Sonic the Hedgehog and the Super Mario Brothers first appeared more than 20 years ago. Today, Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and World of Warcraft feature games that can be played online, with players sending messages to each other while they play, creating avatars and even buying and selling virtual products.

As the popularity of online gaming continues to grow, so does the risk of cyber criminals invading games to scam players out of their money and personal information. For example, many new multiplayer games use their own virtual currency, which can be bought and sold for real world dollars. Cyber thieves know all about virtual gaming currency, and they unleash scams in the gaming world just like they do in the real world—all aimed at separating you from your money.

Cyber criminals aren't just after quick money—they also comb through gamer's online profiles hoping to find a user name, password, email address or other information that can help them steal your identity. In other words, online games can be a lot of fun for folks of all ages, but you have to be aware of the risks to stay safe. In fact, you should use the same precautions when playing your favorite games as you would when buying goods online or visiting social networks like Facebook.

With many younger children also playing games online, it's important to keep an eye on their online habits and make them aware of the risks—just because they're playing a game doesn't mean there won't be real world consequences.

"A Simple Guide to Gaming Security" includes six easy tips that show you what to watch out for so you and your friends and family can enjoy more secure online games.

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