Whether you’re playing the latest console release or free Mac games, understanding what the threats are is essential, as only then can you take steps to protect yourself against them. We’ve written up a list of the most serious cyber threats that gamers face to give you an understanding of the potential risks. Read on to find out more.
Social Engineering – Prevalent on Consoles
Cyberattacks make us think of sophisticated computer programs that automatically hack into our systems and wreak havoc. While these threats certainly do exist (more on them later) many of the attacks we see are far simpler in nature.
Social engineering attacks are much like traditional in-person scams, only conducted over the internet rather than in a face-to-face situation. Criminals who use social engineering scams prey on the human nature of their victims, exploiting their trust, kindness, naivety, or often a combination of all three.
Phishing is an incredibly common form of social engineering attack. In a phishing scam, criminals will disguise themselves as an official organization, such as a developer or a system admin, and send a message to victims asking them to follow a link. This link will direct the user to download something or disclose private information such as passwords or banking details, which will then be made available to the criminals behind the scam.
On our computers, phishing attacks are often directed towards our email inboxes. On video game consoles, phishing scams can be spotted in direct message inboxes, so always be wary and never follow a link from an email that looks suspicious.
Malware – Can be Found Even in Totally Free Mac Games
Malware is short for malicious software. It is code that has been written and designed as a weapon. Criminals deploy malware to carry out cyberattacks, it comes in various forms and can have a wide range of different effects, from viruses and spyware to ransomware.
If you play totally free Mac games, you may be under the impression that Macs are completely resistant to malware and viruses and that you will be protected by your computer’s in-built security systems.
This isn’t necessarily the case. While it’s true that Macs are better at fending off malware than Windows PCs, they can still be targeted and infected by malware, which can be a potentially serious situation.
Ransomware and spyware are among the most well-known types of malware, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Other common forms include resident viruses, which can hide in your computer system and disrupt how it works, and file-infecting viruses, which are activated whenever a specific file is opened.
If you play free Mac games, it’s important that you know how to spot the signs that could indicate your computer is infected with malware. If your Mac is acting strangely, performing slowly, overheating, or if you notice unfamiliar files and folders, this could mean you have a malware issue.
When we register for any kind of online platform or service, be it for banking, social media, or even for free Mac games, we usually have to create an account with a username and password.
The website or platform will secure and store this data to make it easier for users to log back in when they return in the future. However, this makes them an attractive target for criminals. If hackers can access these data banks, they will be able to steal personal user information and use it to break into accounts.
While there’s little you can do to stop this happening, you can take steps to mitigate the damage should your information be involved in a data breach. Use strong passwords and change them regularly, and never use the same password for more than one account.
Whether you’re a console gamer or a fan of free Mac games, there are a number of threats out there. Use this guide to learn what they are and take steps to protect yourself.