Playing games online is a great way to let out some steam after a long, exhausting day of work or to just have fun with friends and fellow gamers. And honestly, who doesn’t want to escape reality for a while and enter a world full of so many opportunities and countless hours of entertainment? In fact, most gamers are so eager to play their favorite online games that they often forget to properly protect their accounts from being hacked.
However, if that account isn’t enforced with a strong password, then there is nothing to stop your most sensitive data from ending up in the hands of nefarious sorts on the dark web. Thankfully, making a gaming account completely hacker-proof is just as easy as hitting “Start” on the main screen.
Under Constant Threat
Although anything stored online can be stolen, gamers’ data in particular is in constant danger as most will be required to provide personal and credit card data in order to be able to make online or in-game purchases. So it’s not surprising that online gaming sites often fall victim to data breaches; in fact, these web pages are playgrounds for hackers where they can easily steal money, commit crimes in the name of the victim or break into other accounts using the acquired login data.
And how vulnerable are online gaming accounts to data breaches? Well, let’s just say that they are deemed to be treasure chests in the eyes of hackers for good reasons. In 2015 CSO Online, a security and risk management company, managed to crack 80% of the passwords featured on a hash list leaked from the in-game purchase site MMO Kings in just 45 minutes. This was the same year that Steam, the largest and best-known online gaming store and community site, suffered from a major data breach that resulted in 77,000 compromised accounts.
Sadly, the situation didn’t turn out any better in the years that followed either, as in 2018 numerous Fortnite players reported that their accounts were hacked and some Steam users also experienced suspicious activities on their accounts. So it’s safe to assume that despite many warnings most gamers still haven’t learned their lesson and taken the necessary countermeasures to make their accounts hacker proof.
Leveling up With Password Managers
Just like purchasing extra powers for your in-game character, making an online gaming account immune to hackers doesn’t require too much effort. As a matter of fact, all it takes is to download a special program, a password manager, to make sure that your gaming accounts won’t be compromised ever again.
One of the reasons why password management software is the best tool for preventing accounts from being hacked is that it imports logins, credit card data, and registration forms from the built-in, insecure password managers of web browsers and places them into its own vault that is protected by military-grade encryption. From then on if you need to log into your gaming account or make purchases, then the password manager will fill out the necessary data for you while keeping said data encrypted until the very last moment.
In addition to that, password managers also allow users to replace old and weak passwords with stronger ones generated by the software’s built-in password generator. These generated passwords will be incredibly complex, but there is no need to remember these new passwords as the software does that job for you. All that is asked of you is to create and memorize a strong master password, which can then be used on its own to access the software and any stored credentials or alongside two-factor authentication. And to make the deal even sweeter, certain password managers are even capable of monitoring the passwords in their vault and will alert you of any data breaches the same way that sites like Have I Been Pwned? can.
VPN, the Cherry on Top
A password manager is more than enough to protect gaming website accounts, but to achieve complete protection consider using a VPN as well. Aside from hiding your internet activity from ISPs – and therefore preventing them from throttling your connection speed – VPNs are capable of connecting to private networks, with which you can pretend to be from another country and, thus, get access to early game releases.
It’s worth noting, however, that certain gaming sites like Steam don’t allow VPNs to be used to access their services, but in most cases there is actually nothing preventing you from achieving a better gaming experience with such a tool.
Best Password Managers of 2018