Gaming is such a popular pastime; you wouldn’t think any harm could really come from it. Maybe the usual ‘square eyes’ or a shout from your mum to put the controller down and go downstairs for food (yes, it still happens way into your 30s). But overall, gaming is a fun hobby. Some describe it as a form of escapism while others a sport, especially if you’re into eSports. Whatever and however you game, it’s enjoyable to do. One thing it should never be is a concern about your own digital privacy, but, unfortunately, it’s one that does exist. But it is one that you can also combat.
Discerning digital dangers
Many different dangers are lurking about online, and no doubt you know about these already. Not downloading anything that looks suspicious, let alone running it and opening up a digital can of worms. Nor should you go onto websites that you don’t think look safe; all common steps that you probably take any time you’re online. It’s easier enough to protect yourself from all of this when you know about it and even easier when you’re on a computer or a tablet. But when you’re gaming, such as playing your Xbox or PlayStation or enjoying classic retro games, the actions of cybercriminals probably don’t even enter your head. It should. Because nowadays consoles are connected to the internet, whether it’s updating your system, games, downloading things from the relevant stores, or playing multiplayer battles online – you’re connected. And that’s all you have to be for hackers to target you.
VPNs fit for gamers
The best way to protect yourself from online hackers is to make sure your console is hidden in plain sight. And that’s where VPNs come in. You’ve probably heard a lot about VPNs and IP addresses, and if you want to know more in-depth knowledge, you can always ask what is my IP address and why is it important? There you’ll find a lot of details on the importance of your IP address and steps to take to protect it. But we’re here too to give you a quick lowdown.
Whenever you go online, your internet journey essentially starts off from your IP address. That’s where companies can track where you are to tailor content and messages around you. You’ll see localized adverts, your streaming sites will all be set around your region, and it’s what cybercriminals look out for when they’re trying to break into your system. Even on your console, you’re still revealing your IP address. Think about the details you store on it – your personal information such as name and address, along with banking details for making purchases from online shops – a savvy online crook can easily get all that information. But with a VPN installed on your console, they’ll have no chance.
The VPN allows you to choose a different server, so your IP address will be via the VPN. So if you chose one in Romania, for example, it’d look like you’re logging in from that country. Hackers will only be able to see a Romanian IP address. If they tried to break through any network connection, they’d have to contend with the VPN’s ultra-secure encryption technology. Even then, they wouldn’t be able to trace your original IP address, and with kill-switch features engaged, all internet will be cut off, so you’re guaranteed safety from online attack.
Extra benefits, too
As well as the extensive security you get from a VPN, there are some nifty additional features too. That includes the ability to bypass any geo-restricted content. This is useful if you use your console for streaming as you’ll be able to choose a different IP address and access more content. Even better than opening up Netflix’s wider library is the fact that you can get more gaming content too. On the Microsoft Store, you’ll be able to get access to games that are only available in other regions – simply pick a different server on the VPN, hit go and see what you can find. You might even find that some games, apps, or downloadable content are cheaper in different regions. Try different ones out, find the best prices, and then enjoy downloading them in total privacy.
As well as keeping your gaming secure with a VPN, by using super-fast servers that a VPN offers, you’ll be able to game with high speeds too. Fast multiplayer action with no prying eyes knowing what you’re up to, no hackers being able to get into your system and access to more stuff – who doesn’t want to use a VPN now?