4 Things Gamers Should Never Forget Even If It Is The Holiday Season
As the holiday season continues, people have more time for their families and of course for computer gaming. PC gaming has evolved from a hobbyist activity to a full-blown sport since the last decade. With Moore’s Law as its foundation, PC hardware went cheaper while computing power doubles every 18 months. This is a completely favorable environment for custom made powerful desktop computers to become accessible for common Joe and Jill who just wants to play a game on the side, with the PC being a productivity machine.
The explosion of broadband Internet at the turn of the new millennium opens gamers to a whole new gaming experience that cannot be reproduced by single-player games. The feeling of teamwork, camaraderie and plain companionship offered by multiplayer games created a whole new industry of multiplayer game vendors and new generation of gamers. It grew to a point that ingame items that are very rare and very hard to obtain ingame are traded for real money, giving new players with money to burn to get ahead of the gameplay with minimum efforts.
Just like any other user, a PC gamer is not only facing a lot of cost when it comes to building their best gaming computer, but also the risk of dealing with the bad sectors of the Internet to look for things that can enhance his gameplay. As more time is available for a gamer now than the previous weeks being in the holiday season, it is prudent that we here in Hackercombat.com give gamers some computer security reminders they should never forget:
Never use a router with old firmware.
Home routers are notorious for being cheap, not only cheap construction of the actual hardware but also the vendor usually don’t make any effort to remind the user to update the firmware. Just like the computer, the home routers contain a control program as well, known as firmware – which can be infected by specially developed malware. This 2018 alone, a notorious malware named VPNFilter infected millions of routers, creating a giant botnet of zombie routers globally which the virus authors use for launching DDoS attacks. Such malware that targets router firmware can be overwritten by a firmware update, this is the reason once infected by VPNFilter, the firmware update button in the router’s admin page no longer works. It is prudent for gamers to learn how to update their router’s firmware manually using the firmware file downloaded from the vendor’s website.
Always accept Windows Auto Updates.
Yes, Windows gamers hate auto updates. We have seen many videos of gamers who are streaming their gameplay in Ustream, Twitch or Youtube swearing furiously as when they were in a live gameplay, the PC suddenly reboots for the mandatory Windows Update. Of course, it takes a while for updates to get downloaded and installed, it is not surprising to receive an update over 1GB in size at a time, especially if your PC remained un-updated for quite a while. However, cancelling these updates via a Registry hack or Group Policy hurts security. Windows update comes with critical patches which helps prevent security issues exposure for the PC. Prevention is always a pound of cure, the game session can continue after the update, it can wait.
Never use game clients other than what the game vendor provided.
Only stick with official clients downloaded from the game publisher’s website. Never attempt to use ‘hacked’ clients, which contains additional code to add more capabilities beyond what the publisher intended. Doing so at best may capture the attention of game masters, banning your game account or at worst the 3rd party client contains malware that you are not aware of until all is too late.
Be alert with phishing
If something is too good to be true, it is truly too good to be true. Phishing in gaming is rampant, since phishers in the gaming sector are after a high level gaming account. Be Always alert for impossible offers, as they are just traps for greedy but gullible players.
Julia Sowells946 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.