Online gaming has become one of the most popular pastimes in the world. Gaming is now a $100 billion-dollar industry, with tons of enthusiasts jumping onboard as each day passes. Studies show that nearly two-thirds of the homes in America have at least one household member that plays video games on a regular basis. Although there are many adventures, characters, and storylines to enjoy, there are also a host of technological and social risks of playing online games without taking adequate security measures. In this article, we explore some of the online gaming risks you should know before you log on and join in on the action. Online Gaming RisksOur intention is not to scare you away from the wonderful and wild world of online gaming. However, it is important that you take all the necessary steps and precautions to set yourself up for safety and success. Online gaming can be a safe and enjoyable activity if you are aware of the potential dangers. Here, we present our top concerns about interacting with the online gaming community and provide advice so you can minimize the risks.Identity Theft: We can’t be the first to tell you just how dangerous the internet can be. Virtually anyone can gather information about you from the online profiles you create for games. In turn, they can use that information to establish accounts in your name or access existing financial accounts.Malicious Software: Desktops and laptops are susceptible to infections, such as adware, malware, worms, and other types of viruses that can take up some of the usable memory in your PC or even cripple your operating system. Take all the necessary steps to keep your system safe by finding those viruses and removing them immediately. There are many antivirus software programs and anti-malware applications to choose from.Unsecured Servers: Connecting devices? Proceed with caution. If the software on the game server has been compromised by an outside source, there is a good chance that the PCs connected to it can be compromised as well. Malicious users will even go as far as to remotely control computers, use them to attack other computers, and install programs that could be detrimental to the health of a PC.What You Can Do to Stay SafeThere are many ways to beef up your security measures. You can start by paying closer attention to firewall management. Firewalls are frequently used to protect home computers, but you may also be able to designate the specific IP addresses of fellow gamers as trusted contacts to reduce the possibility of interacting with a malicious individual or program that seeks to infect your PC. Install and use antivirus or antispyware programs. Take caution when opening or avoid opening files attached to email and instant messages from fellow gamers. Back-up all the financial and personal data you don’t want to lose or expose. Create strong passwords and change them frequently! As long as you take these first few steps, we are confident that you will enjoy a safer online gaming experience overall.If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to contact us for additional information or further assistance.