If you’re a parent and haven’t been in touch with gaming for a while, you’d be surprised at how much it has changed. Gaming is no longer the single-user experience that you may remember from the 1990s or the early 2000s. Today’s games are full-blown experiences centred around communities that see players participating in the millions, all enjoying a sense of camaraderie and teamwork as they play with and against each other in beautifully designed worlds.
For people of all ages, especially for children and teenagers, gaming is a big draw. However, as a parent, it is also important for you to understand what your children are doing online. Online gaming is an entertaining platform but it has its fair share of cybersecurity dangers as well. In the past, we’ve analyzed how playing video games could lead to cyberattacks. Potential safety concerns in gaming include ransomware, phishing, identity or credit card theft, cyberbullying and more.
However, today’s games also offer another major potential for fraud. If you’re a parent who has kids who are active gamers or just getting into the gaming hobby, you’re probably heard of this term: microtransactions. But if you have not, let’s quickly get you up to speed.
Most popular games nowadays – Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty, etc. have a feature where players use real money to unlock items within the games. These items range from buying new and cooler weapons, unlocking more lives or simply giving players more customization options for their virtual characters. You might find the concept of using real money for unlocking virtual items strange but it’s a massive revenue stream for game manufacturers. A report from Forbes recently estimated that the video games industry’s value will exceed $200 billion in 2023 with microtransactions driving this surge in the valuation.
If your kids are actively playing some of the most popular games in the market, they will want to conduct microtransactions at some stage, if they haven’t done so already. To ensure they stay safe, here are a few tips for you to consider as a parent:
Your financial information, whether it’s your credit/debit card details, your net banking password or your UPI pin, are all important financial instruments that could be misused. Your kids should not have easy access to this information, even if they need it for legitimate microtransactions. Ensure that you set up a system where you can moderate and approve every transaction. Your kids should not be able to use your card details to make microtransactions on gaming platforms.
Multiplayer gaming has a lot of different characters and there are quite a few with malicious intentions. Educate your children about the danger of clicking on unknown links from unverified people on gaming platforms. These links could lead to websites filled with malware.
As mentioned previously, many people are hanging around on gaming platforms looking to make a quick buck. One way they do that is by luring innocent gamers into buying items that are not authorized by the game manufacturer. For example, a trickster might pretend to sell an item that will give you unlimited lives on Fortnite. However, once the money is paid, you’ll probably never hear from the person again. Ensure that microtransactions are only conducted on legitimate platforms hosted by the game in question.
Gaming can be a wonderful and entertaining habit for all age groups. With some simple precautions and the power of Quick Heal Total Security, it’s easy to stay safe while keeping the adrenaline pumping for your family.