How the Rates of Cybercrime Have Escalated Due to Online Gaming

Online gaming has quickly grown to become one of the most revered forms of entertainment all over the world. With so many people sharing information online as a result, it’s no wonder online gaming has also been associated to cybercrime. This unfortunate circumstance has provoked gaming enthusiasts to take precautions in order to protect themselves. Below, we have a look at the relation between cybercrime and online gaming, and what the future looks like for fans of this popular form of entertainment.

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It’s All Personal

Online gaming has peaked in popularity over the last two decades. Over the last while, communities of gamers have joined thousands of online communities in order to engage with the purpose of playing in some of the best games available today. In order to play or even become a legitimate member of an online gaming community, an individual must share some of their personal information, banking information, as well as, have the ability to communicate well with others. Although this is more common for multiplayer games, solo games also require the player to provide their personal details.

The exchange of sensitive information has created a vulnerability point for the online gaming community. Cybercrime stems from penetrating these areas and taking advantage of information that should otherwise be private and secure. The risks are real, and gamers are facing some serious considerations when they choose to play.

What Are Cybercriminals Looking For?

Cybercriminals perceive the online gaming community as a means to make money. They leverage sensitive data in order to make big gains, which has cost gamers and the companies that build the games they play, lots of money. Although anti-viruses and other software are available to prevent these situations from happening, the biggest issue at-hand right now is money laundering.

In 2013, a study identified online gaming as the main avenue for cybercriminals to launder money. The main culprit in this case is multiplayer games which allow gamers to exchange virtual currencies for real money. Cybercriminals have managed to trace this money in discreet ways. Realistically, as gamers spend more money online, all while providing companies with their banking information, cybercriminals will increasingly find ways to trace this money and use it for money laundering schemes.

Notably, there do remain highly secure gaming portals online, including some of the best bingo sites, which create safe environments for players. Sites like bingosweets.com, prevent cybercrime by making all information, from banking to personal information, private for players. Although sites like these inspire confidence in the online gaming community, others are still suffering the consequences of the pervasiveness of cybercrime.

Can Cybercriminals Be Gamers?

The beauty of online gaming is the ability to connect with others in a friendly and fun environment. Unfortunately, what has become online gaming’s main selling point, has also been the reason behind its lack of security. Analysts are speculating that a great many cybercriminals are gamers themselves, providing them with easier access to sensitive information. In fact, the idea of criminal behavior in this sense has been under investigation, as many gamers are engaging in unlawful acts without even realizing it.

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Gamers might partake in certain behaviors online which are considered criminal, but for reasons related to the obscurity of the online space, often go unnoticed. Unfortunately, some gamers will steal in-game currency from other players, among other things. Although this mimics the same behavior as stealing money from a bank, the authorities are not always there to punish those who commit the crime. This exploitation has reached critical heights, with cybercrime of all sorts taking place via the online gaming community at large.

What Does the Future Hold?

Authorities and analysts are striving to implement rigid secure practices across the board, so that all online gaming sites are highly protected. The likelihood that cybercrime should dissipate anytime soon is low, but laws can be put in place to punish those that take advantage of this channel. Unfortunately, behind a screen, it is often difficult to identify the criminals themselves. The challenges are there for those policing the space, but necessary to address if this criminal behavior is to lessen in the coming years.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Gaming category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone
Henno Kruger

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