The risks of online gaming range from gaming addiction to being hacked and having your confidential data stolen. So, while gaming can be a fun and rewarding experience, it also comes with some dangers. As is expected with the virtual world, anything done online can be risky and cause issues for people both online and in real life.
Whether you game using a gaming console, on a computer, or using your phone, you’ll likely be exposed to the same online gaming risks. In this article, we will discuss six of the biggest risks associated with online gaming. By understanding these risks, you can take steps to protect yourself and have a safer and more enjoyable gaming experience.
This article is a part of a series:
Chapter 1: How does a VPN affect gaming?
Chapter 2: Should I use a VPN when gaming?
Chapter 3: How to set up and use a VPN for gaming
Chapter 4: Which VPN protocol is best for gaming?
Chapter 6: What are the best VPN servers for gaming?
Chapter 7: How to prevent packet loss when gaming
Chapter 8: VPN for Xbox
Chapter 9: VPN for PS4
Chapter 10: VPN for PS5
Chapter 11: VPN for Overwatch
Chapter 12: VPN for Steam
Chapter 13: VPN for Black Desert Online
Chapter 14: What are the risks of online gaming?
1. Gaming addiction
One of the biggest risks associated with online gaming is addiction. When someone becomes addicted to gaming, they can lose touch with reality and spend hours playing games instead of interacting with others in the real world. This can harm their physical health, social life, work, and academic performance.
Gaming addiction is a serious problem that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is addicted to gaming, it’s essential to seek help from a professional. Many resources are available for people who want to overcome an addiction to gaming, including support groups and rehab centers.
2. Physical health effects
Another risk associated with online gaming is the potential for adverse physical health effects. Hours spent playing games means a person is not getting up and moving around like they would if they were actually playing a game outside. Too much gaming can lead to weight gain, poor vision, and other health problems.
3. Increase in violence
Some games are very violent and can cause players to become desensitized to violence. This can have negative consequences in the real world as well as online. For example, studies have shown that exposure to violent video games can increase aggressive behavior. This desensitization can have an extremely negative impact and cause behavioral disorders that pose a risk to other people.
4. Contacting strangers
Gaming is a great way to meet new friends with common interests; however, there is also a risk that someone could come into contact with a dangerous person online.
When you’re playing a game, you may come into contact with people from all over the world. While most of these people are just looking to have some fun and enjoy the game, there is always the potential for danger. Predators can use games to lure unsuspecting children and teenagers into dangerous situations.
It’s important to be aware of who you’re talking to in games and never give out personal information such as your address or phone number. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, report them to a moderator or stop communicating with them immediately.
5. Spending too much money on games
Many games are free to download or play, but many games cost money. Some people can become so addicted to gaming that they’ll spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on in-game items and bonuses. This is a considerable risk and something that is becoming more frequent.
Overspending on games can lead to financial problems and debt. It’s essential to set a budget for yourself and stick to it for gaming. If you find yourself struggling to keep your spending under control, consider taking a break from gaming altogether.
6. Installing malware onto your device or network
Individuals can sometimes unknowingly install malware onto their devices and networks while gaming. Malware is a type of software that can damage or take control of your computer, phone, or other electronic devices. It can be installed through malicious ads or websites, infected email attachments, and pirated software.
When you’re playing games online, it’s essential to be vigilant about the websites you visit and the files you download. Never click on suspicious links or open unknown attachments. Always make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date and scan all new files before opening them.
7. Suffering from DDoS attacks
A risk that comes with gaming is that you will suffer from DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks occur when a gamer tries to overload another user’s server and get them kicked out of the game. These attacks can be annoying, but are common, especially if you game competitively at a high level.
8. Getting scammed by in-game ads
In-game ads are advertisements that appear while you’re playing a game and are increasingly being used to exploit victims. These ads can be for other games, products, or services, and although the ads are usually legitimate, sometimes they are not.
Scammers will use in-game ads to lure people into clicking on them. Once you’ve clicked on the ad, you may be taken to a website that looks like the official site for the game or product being advertised. However, this website could host a phishing scam that will try to steal your personal information or money.
It’s essential to be aware of these scams and never click on suspicious in-game ads. If you think an ad might be a scam, do some research online to see if other people have had problems with it.
Reducing the risks of online gaming
While there are some risks associated with online gaming, there are also ways to reduce these risks. Here are a few tips:
- Be vigilant about malware: As mentioned earlier, malware can be installed through malicious ads or websites, infected email attachments, and pirated software. Ensure that you have active antivirus running whenever you game or install new files for gaming.
- Use a VPN: Using a gaming VPN can help stop DDoS attacks since it hides your real IP address, making it harder for other gamers to trace you.
- Stay safe while chatting with strangers: Don’t overshare with strangers on the internet, even if it is someone you routinely game with. Try to avoid sharing personal social media profiles with other gamers and instead use a nickname to play under.
- Set a budget and stick to it: When it comes to gaming, it’s essential to set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Don’t spend more money than you can afford on in-game items and bonuses.