MMO games are tons of fun. You get to play cool video games and also socialize with people. MMOs are actually how many of us found our friends and significant others.
However, there’s also a dark side to MMOs. They’re actually pretty risky if you’re not careful:
- Hackers can infect you with malware.
- Other players can scam or DDoS you.
- People can target you with phishing attacks to take over your account.
- Annoying players can cyber-bully you.
If you want to learn how to protect yourself from those threats, keep reading this article. We’ll show you what steps you must take to stay safe on MMO games. You should also read more about staying safe on MMO games here. It’s a comprehensive guide from GamerGirl (a ProPrivacy blog) about online security on MMO games.
Based on our research and experience, these are the best things you can do to enjoy top-notch security will playing MMO games:
1. Use Strong Passwords
If you use a weak password, you might as well give other players access to your account. If your name is Michael and your password is Michael123, we have bad news for you: it’d only take someone around three minutes to bruteforce it – especially if it’s someone in the game that knows your real name.
A strong password needs to:
- Be long (at least eight characters, but – if possible – go up to 15 or more).
- Not be a dictionary word (a word that can be guessed like “dog” or “house”).
- Be devoid of obvious substitutions (no, replacing “S” with “$” isn’t clever).
- Contain numbers, special characters, and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.
Here’s what we like to do – use a long sentence as a reference. For example, take this sentence: “I like visiting Emily in Poland every 3 years because flying to Poland is cheap.” If you use the first character from each word to create a password, you’re left with “IlvEiPe3ybftPic.” We tested that password with different online tools, and this is the verdict – it’d take about 3,261 centuries to crack it!
Pro Tip: Don’t use the same password for all your accounts. If one of them somehow gets compromised, hackers can use the same password to take over your other gaming accounts.
2. Use a VPN
VPNs are online tools that secure your data by encrypting it. They also protect your privacy by hiding your IP address.
VPNs make MMO games safer by protecting you from DoS and DDoS attacks. Because they hide your IP address, wannabe hackers can’t use it to find and target your network. That way, they can’t flood it with unwanted traffic to force it offline.
Won’t they just DDoS the VPN server you’re using?
They can try, but it probably won’t work. Most VPNs offer anti-DDoS protection on all their servers.
And since VPNs encrypt your traffic, that means you can safely play MMO games on public WiFi without worrying about anyone eavesdropping on your traffic to steal your login credentials.
3. Enable MFA or 2FA on Your Account
MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) and 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) add extra steps to the login process. Basically, besides typing your password, you also need to type a code that’s randomly generated through SMS, email, or an app.
It seems like a hassle, but it’s a nice extra layer of security. Even if a hacker was to somehow compromise your password, they wouldn’t be able to take over your account. To do that, they’d need to get access to your email or phone as well.
We recommend using an app that generates codes (like Google Authenticator). It’s the safest option because someone would need to physically access your phone to compromise an account that’s secured by such an app.
4. Don’t Trust Random Emails
No, a game admin or forum moderator won’t email you to ask you what your login credentials are. If you ever get a message like that, block the user and delete the email because it’s a phishing attempt.
If you’re not sure if the email you got is legit or not, post a question on the game’s forums or reach out to the moderators or admins to ask them about this. You can also copy-paste the message between quotes on Google. You might get results from other people who complain about getting similar phishing messages.
5. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It’s Because It Is
No, nobody will level up your character overnight for free. They’re just looking to trick you into giving them access to your account. Once you do that, they’ll delete your character, steal your items and currency, and maybe even steal sensitive personal information linked to the account (payment information and email address).
You should also avoid buying in-game currency from third-party websites. Sure, they have lower prices, but that’s because it’s a scam. You most likely won’t receive anything. Always buy in-game currencies and items from the official site.
6. Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus security programs are the best line of defense against malware threats – and there are a lot of them in the MMO world! Even well-known MMO games got hit with malware. For example, World of Warcraft players had their accounts hijacked due to malware infections.
You should keep the antivirus program on at all times and let it run daily scans. Also, don’t forget to update it regularly (so that it can detect new malware variations).
Pro Tip: Antivirus programs and antimalware programs are the same thing. A virus is a type of malware.
7. Report and Block Abusive Players
You don’t need to put up with griefers and verbal abuse. If someone is actively trying to ruin your experience or hurl insults and hate speech your way, don’t be afraid to block or mute them.
And while you’re at it, report the abusive player. Even better, contact an admin right there on the spot.
What Do You Do to Stay Safe While Playing MMO Games?
Please let us know what other security measures you use to protect your account and data. Also, if you know other threats to MMO gaming, please mention them.