Fake Steam websites: There is no difference at first glance – the fake can be seen on the left, the original on the right.
The tip from the expert: Website addresses should always be entered in the browser manually. Always look carefully at links to update pages and study the entire address line.
Trade in illegally purchased game keys and credits
The perpetrators use stolen data, which is obtained by phishing or using so-called keyloggers, to purchase game keys or credits for online platforms such as Steam.
Currently much sought after in underground forums are game keys for current bestsellers and top hits such as Call of Duty, Battlefield 4, Watch Dogs, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls or Titanfall. A key for Battlefield 4 Premium Edition can be obtained for 10 euros – it usually costs about four times as much. However, by doing so gamers risk losing their user account if the key is redeemed on platforms such as Steam or Origin.
Also still popular is the trade in illegally purchased digital credits for Steam, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, iTunes and other web platforms. These are sold for a fraction of the original value. Steam credits with a value of 100 euros are traded in underground forums for 20 euros.
How online gamers can protect themselves
- Caution with unofficial patches: Only install official updates from games manufacturers. A supposed update from third party providers can quickly turn out to be computer malware.
- Delete suspicious emails: Already taking a look at forthcoming hit games? Cyber criminals know what games gamers are eagerly awaiting as well. Spam email from unknown senders or with tempting content should be deleted immediately. File attachments or links should never be clicked on.
- Enter URLs manually: Internet users should never click on links in emails. Ideally Internet addresses for websites you want to visit should be entered manually in the browser address line.
- Use a security solution: Gamers are more secure online when they have a powerful, comprehensive security solution installed on the PC. Besides protection against malware, phishing and spam email, this should provide real-time protection while surfing. The security solution should be permanently activated – even during gaming.
- Keep software up-to-date: Use updates to ensure that your operating system and installed software are always fully up-to-date. This prevents attackers from exploiting known security holes.
- Use strong passwords: Combinations of upper and lower case letters plus numbers are significantly more secure. A secure password consists of at least eight characters.
- Use genuine online traders: Gamers should only buy digital enhancements, credits or game keys in official online gaming markets. In such cases use of a credit card or payment service provider with buyer protection is recommended.
OnlineGaming_Safety: G DATA provides helpful tipps for gamers, so the game remains fun.