MMO games are tons of fun. For many of us, they become a huge time investment – almost a way of life. It’s easy to get lost in an MMO game and end up spending over 100 days leveling a character. By that point, you’ve grown really attached to them – and the community they’re a part of.
So, obviously, the last thing you want is some hackers ruining everything by taking over your account and deleting your character. Or by stealing your personal information and committing identity theft or selling your data.
To avoid that, you need to take some security precautions. We’ll give you six quick tips in this article.
1. Create a Strong Password
Don’t use obvious passwords – like your name, your birth date, or simple words like “house” or “dog.” They’re very easy to remember, but also easy to compromise. Instead, you need to create really secure passwords. To do that, you should make them long (at least over eight characters), use lowercase and uppercase letters, use special symbols, and use numbers.
Oh and never share your password with anyone – not even friends or family. Maybe your brother or best friend would think it’s a fun “prank” to delete your character and film your reaction. They might not realize just how much time and effort you put into leveling it.
Plus, many MMOs prohibit account sharing, so you might get banned if you’re caught doing it. DON’T FORGET: You should never use the same password for all accounts. Don’t use your MMO account password for another game or your PayPal account. If it ever gets leaked, whoever gets their hands on it will be able to compromise your other accounts too.
2. Use Antivirus Protection
Cybercriminals often rely on malware to get their hands on your precious data. They use any methods they can – they email or message you malicious links, they inject malware into the game’s site, they try to trick you into downloading malicious files, etc.
The best way to avoid that is to just ignore them, you might think. And while that’s true, it’s sadly not the most efficient method. You’re only human, after all, and at some point you’ll make a mistake.
That’s why you need to use an antivirus program. It’s designed to stop all malware infections. So even if you slip up, the security software will be there to protect your data.
3. Use a VPN on Unsecured WiFi
Doing a few quests while you wait for your plane or your lunch sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, it isn’t – not unless you use a VPN. Here’s the problem – to do that, you’ll use public WiFi. Usually, you don’t need a password for it. Convenient, sure, but dangerous too – no password means no encryption. Anyone could snoop on your traffic to try and steal your login credentials.
Here’s the bad news, though – even if the network uses encryption, it’s not 100% safe. It’s old news that WPA2 isn’t safe, but unfortunately WPA3 isn’t foolproof either. The only way to really be safe on public WiFi is to use a VPN.
It’s an online service that encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address. Encrypting your traffic means the VPN makes it unreadable to anyone. So hackers can’t monitor your data even if the network you’re using isn’t secured.
4. Use a Unique Email for Each MMO Account
It’s better to be safe than sorry and keep things simple. Just create a new email for each MMO you’re playing. Don’t use the same emails you use for social media, online payments, or general online browsing. If one of them ever gets compromised, your MMO accounts will be in danger too.
To do this, we recommend using ProtonMail. It’s an end-to-end encrypted email service that doesn’t store your IP or any data about you. Yes, that means you don’t need a phone number to sign up. Best of all – it has a free plan.
5. Avoid Pirated Games
They’re free so they’re the best option, right? They’re not. First of all, you might get in legal trouble if you pirate a game. But let’s say you don’t need to worry about that or you use a VPN to hide your torrent traffic.
Another problem is that you might download pirated games that contain malicious code, meaning they’ll infect your device with malware. Maybe you use antivirus software, so you don’t need to worry about that either.
Well, that leaves you with four other issues:
- You might get banned from the online community or network you’re part of (especially on consoles).
- You might get exposed to NSFW content (you definitely don’t want someone at work or school catch you watching anything like that).
- There’s a very good chance the game won’t work well. You might have to deal with annoying bugs and glitches.
- You won’t be able to play on official servers. Instead, you’ll have to play on private servers which might have buggy mechanics or might get shut down in the future.
6. Don’t Download and Use Cheats
Free cheats sometimes sound like just what you need to beat that boss or get first place in PvP.
Well, they’re not worth it. They might expose you to malware. And if they don’t, they’ll likely get your account banned. Most MMO games use good anti-cheat protection.
Even if the game you’re playing doesn’t use a system like that, do you really think nobody will notice that your character has GM-like powers? Other players will instantly report your account and you’ll get banned in no time!
Want More Tips?
If our advice wasn’t enough, you should check out GamerGirl too. It’s a blog from ProPrivacy (a big-name tech review site) that offers useful security tips for gamers. You can click here to learn more about how to stay safe in MMO games.
What Do You Do to Stay Safe in MMO Games?
Please share your advice with the rest of us in the comments. If you use any specific security tools, don’t forget to mention them by name and leave a link!