ONE IN TEN GAMERS HAVE HAD THEIR ID STOLEN

Over a tenth of gamers globally (12%, or 179 million1 globally) have had their ID stolen – which could be worth as much as $347bn2 globally. In South Africa, 9.6% of gamers have had their ID stolen.This is according to global research by Kaspersky, which has also provided simple tips to help gamers avoid this and other issues associated with gaming.

This new research was commissioned by Kaspersky and conducted by Savanta in November 2020, to look at the state of global gaming in 2020. According to the 5,031 gamers surveyed across 17 countries, 15.9% of gamers from South Africa surveyed have also been bullied while playing (compared to 19% globally). This worrying trend is the most prevalent in Russia (44%) Saudi Arabia (27%), Turkey (28%) and the US (27%).

Worse still, a third (34.3%) of South African gamers have suffered at the hands of cheaters. All of these combined cause stress and anxiety in 26.7% of local gamers. This is disappointing as stress relief is the most prominent reason the majority of them (66.5%) turn to gaming, followed by thrills (57.2%), and then friendship (43.8%).

Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky, said; “When gaming, it’s important to consider from the outset how you can best avoid or handle bullies, cheats and hackers. Acting on this early means you can put many of those fears aside and focus on enjoying the game.”

Kaspersky offers seven ways to help be as safe as possible while gaming online:

  1. Buy from official sources. Always shop for PC games either on well-known platforms like Steam and GOG or on official developer sites.
  2. Save smart. Official stores often provide amazing discounts, or even free games. But many e-mail offers can be a scam – go to the developer’s or store’s website to see if the discount is mentioned there – if not, it’s not real.
  3. Check the return policy. Before buying, know the store’s rules for returning a game you don’t like or that doesn’t work on your computer.
  4. Use a dedicated card for online shopping. Instead of linking a card that has all your savings, get a debit card for online shopping and top it up as needed. That way, should intruders break in to a site you use, they won’t get much.
  5. Use a secure connection. We recommend logging in to online stores only from home – having properly secured your home network and using products like Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection.
  6. Protect your accounts. Protect your account on Steam and Battle.net, and on any social network profiles you use to sign in to gaming stores (but don’t use social network accounts to log in elsewhere if you can help it).
  7. Protect your devices. The computers, smartphones, and tablets you use for gaming also need protection. A reliable solution like Kaspersky Security Cloud blocks fraudulent websites and malware, provides alerts about security issues, and, contrary to popular misconception, does not spoil gameplay. The Gaming Mode you’ll find in modern security solutions turns on automatically when you play in full-screen mode.

References:

1. Global gaming reach based on 3.1bn global gamers, 48% of which are on PC. 12% of 1.488bn is 178,560,000 or 179 million

2. Average Steam account is worth $1,936

3. Negative Stereotypes of Online Gamers and the Communication Consequences

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