Cyber Risks: The Bane of eSports

It’s no secret that we all love gaming, so it pains me to talk about one of its biggest problems: cybersecurity. There have been many instances this past decade of video game storefronts, esports organizations, and video games themselves being hacked, including our dear mobile games.

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Today, I want to focus on the eSports scene and it’s problems with cybersecurity.

HACKS

Hacks affect fans and players alike. Whether we’re talking about ransomware, viruses, worms, or bitcoin miners, the result is the same: great risk is brought to the fan or player affected.

Plus, hacks have the potential to do devastating financial damage. Back in 2016, the largest eSports organization in the world suffered from a data leak—a data leak that affected 1.5 million eSports players.

STOLEN ACCOUNTS

The account of a competitive player may as well be called their lifeblood. Without it, years of progress, money, and skill go down the drain. So, when an eSports player has their account stolen, rendering all their financial contributions and playtime obsolete, there are major negative effects.

Plus, do I really need to tell you the dangers of having your account stolen in the first place? The risk to your identity it poses? I think we all know of those dangers, and as someone who suffered from it first-hand, I can tell you it is not fun.

CHEATS

Speaking of not fun, I feel it fitting to mention cheats. Some players buy and use aim-bots, “wall-vision”, and other cheats in order to gain an (unfair) advantage over other players. While not as “harmful” as the other two issues, cheats ruin the fun for everyone involved and are a stain on the eSports community.

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How Players and Fans Can Protect Themselves

Fortunately, there is no shortage of ways you can protect yourself from the harmful effects of hacks, cheats, and cybercriminals as a whole.

Firstly, think about using a VPN to enhance your gaming experience. A VPN encrypts your data and makes sure no cybercriminal can steal your account. Secondly, you should refrain from handing out any personal information. Even if you’re a popular professional player, you should reduce the amount of personal info handed out from you or your org.

Lastly—and I shouldn’t have to say this—don’t use cheats. Even if you want an upper hand against your opponents, most sites that give away cheats do so with malware mixed in, putting you at risk.