File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

Gaming 101: How being nice pays off and could prevent a hack attack

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Nov 10, 2020

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If you have played - or even watched - online games, you would know that insults and trolls come with the territory. It can range from attacks about your skills (or lack thereof), profanities to other things that are not publishing-friendly. However, be careful.

South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association has issued a stern warning for the country’s 11 million gamers to minimise their chances of being targeted for vindictive hacking by respectful online.

The global gaming industry has exploded under lockdown. With this spike and interest in gaming, more people playing games professionally or for leisure online has exposed the ease with which gaming consoles can be hacked - especially by fellow gamers whom you may have angered.

Online games are played on PCs and dedicated gaming consoles. The use of phones for gaming has also risen due to lockdown.

We should remember that consoles are, in fact, powerful computers that can be used to invade privacy, harm targeted gamers emotionally, professionally and financially, and even disrupt the network of the gamer’s Internet Service Provider (ISP).

“Our advice to gamers is to be courteous and respectful online. Do not trade insults with fellow gamers under the assumption that online anonymity is always guaranteed. Smart hackers can indeed find out the real-world identity of other gamers and this could be dangerous,” says André van der Walt, chair of ISPA.

This is how to stay safe online and enjoy your game.

The first step is not to assume anonymity online. Just because a someone doesn’t know what your real name is, or even where you are, does not mean that they can not find you.

It is also worth understanding that the virtual world is made up of real people, therefore the rules of real-world engagement still applies. Although there are some people that might debate this, gaming is a sport and gamers should be good sportspeople. Good sportsmanship means losing honourably and don’t be abusive.

Keep your software up to date with regular system updates. Make sure to guard against intrusion by fake emails, software plug-ins and add ons that wish to gain illegitimate access.


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