Gamers lose hundreds of dollars in cyberattacks, not shy of hacking each other

Close to half of American adults who play online games have experienced an attack on their gaming device, while a quarter likely to hack friends and family to gain a competitive advantage.

A recent poll by NortonLifeLock of gamers shows that 47% of them have experienced a cyberattack to break into their gaming account or device.

Three in four of those affected endured financial losses. The survey conducted by the Harris Poll shows that, on average, gamers lose $744.

Interestingly, the poll shows that gamers will go to great lengths to push ahead of the competition. Even if they are competing against their relatives.

The poll shows that 23% of US gamers are likely to hack into the gaming account of a friend, family member, or romantic partner if they knew it would give them a competitive advantage in an online game.

The sentiment extends further, with around a quarter of American gamers likely to exploit a loophole in a game (27%), pay to take possession of another user’s account (25%), install cheats (24%), and hack random accounts (24%).

The inclination to cut corners proves damaging for some as scammers are aware of gamers’ desire to win at all costs. Threat actors trick gamers into clicking phishing links or downloading malware under a promise of secret cheat code.

“If the scam works, gamers might lose their gaming profile, digital assets, or personal information,” Darren Shou, Head of Technology at NortonLifeLock, said.

The survey shows that many avid gamers lack basic security knowledge. For example, a staggering 47% use the same password for multiple gaming accounts, while 39% share personal information with strangers online.

Unsurprisingly, a fifth (21%) of the respondents were doxed and had their personal information stolen and shared online.

How can I avoid getting doxxed?

There are no guarantees that it won't ever happen. However, there are several things that you can do to minimize the odds:

  • Be mindful of what you share online. Is it vital for you to share every single thing that happened in your life on social media? Always have in mind a modified version of the Miranda warning on everything that you post online: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you post can be used against you when doxxing.
  • Tweak your privacy settings. Make your posts on social media private, so they're not visible to strangers.
  • Consider using passwordless authentication. Using two-factor authentication and biometric data increases the chances of avoiding doxxing.
  • Use a VPN. Signing up with a VPN provider adds an extra barrier that makes it harder for the doxxer to pinpoint your real location.
  • Don't click on links from unknown senders. Doxxers often use phishing to get you into clicking on malicious links and asking you to provide your personal information.
  • Never share this information. Sharing Your Social Security number, driver's license, and any information regarding bank accounts is off-limits, especially if it's on insecure chatting platforms like Discord.

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