Real Threats Found in Virtual Gaming Consoles

Ahead of the Game View infographic: Ahead of the Game

Can you still tell where reality and virtual reality begins and ends when you play online console games? Do you ever think of what others can access about you based on what you share through these games?

Truth is: games can easily blend the virtual with the real.

For example, you get the Xbox One Kinect 2.0 feature. It records your voice and takes note of your face and body details. And since it’s “always on,” you know that your information is already saved and stored. Pair that with the PlayStation 4 scanning your living room for gameplay—data of you and your living room are fed into the virtual realm.

Games today are very unlike yesteryears’ playing cards and board games. They now ask for account information and contact details so they can link you to your favorite music, play your subscribed videos, browse the web, and even post on Facebook or Twitter on your behalf. Since these details are linked to your name and gaming profile, cybercriminals deem them valuable. In 2011, for example, cybercriminals stole 70 million Sony PlayStation accounts. In the same year, $225 million online gaming assets were stolen. That’s a lot of money, but how do cybercriminals get to it?

Cybercriminals set up lures for online gamers. They poison search results for gaming consoles. When you type in Wii on a search engine, chances are you will land on one of 4,696 bad sites that lead to data-stealing threats, including phishing pages that solicit your information. Before you hand over your personal information or payment details, ensure you are on the official site by double-checking links and branding marks.

Stay safe while playing by staying in control. For instance, be aware that connecting your console to your home network may lead to bad guys snooping in your system. For those with kids, restrict access to common features like type of games, movies and TV shows allowed, Internet use, and online interaction so consoles can only connect to kid-friendly and secure sites. It’s all about being ahead of the game.
Ahead of the Game

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