How to protect yourself while you play online
Perhaps you’ve heard the stories about gamers getting hacked and losing hundreds of dollars in the process. These aren’t urban legends… gamers can be in real danger of being hacked if they don’t use a gaming VPN to protect themselves. Arming your mobile phone or gaming PC with a VPN for gaming greatly increases its defense against cyberattacks.
In this guide, we’ll shed light on why gaming without a VPN makes you or your loved one a sitting duck for hackers and how to choose the best VPN for a safer gaming environment.
Why online gaming can be dangerous
It’s easy to be engrossed in games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and CoD: Warzone. Online games connect you with fellow gamers around the world, and the community creates a sense of belonging.
If you’re an avid gamer, the competitiveness will drive you to splurge game items, partner with players, and build clans of your own. The comfort of spending time in a virtual comfort zone can lull you into dismissing the notion that you could be vulnerable.
Well, that was what dozens of Fortnite players thought until their gaming accounts were hacked and they were billed for money they didn’t spend. In an instance, the perception of a safe haven was shattered, and they were faced with the brutal reality that hackers could strike even in a familiar gaming environment.
When you’re complacent about security, you tend to fall into habits that jeopardize online security. For example, you use a generic numeric sequence as your account’s password, or worse, share the same credentials with your financial accounts.
You’ll never know if a hacker is attempting to intercept the credential, particularly if you’re connected to public WiFi. An unencrypted connection and an exposed public IP are a recipe for disaster. Hackers could strike at any moment, and siphon dollars out of your account while you’re dueling opponents in the game.
While it’s less likely to happen, some gamers may bring their grudge to real life. If you’ve been trading insults with extreme and unhinged opponents, they may try to retaliate by finding out your real identity. If you’re not hiding your IP address, it doesn’t take much effort to find out who you are.
How does a VPN protect you?
A VPN is a network service that tunnels your data through an encrypted connection. It also masks your IP address with one from the VPN server. A VPN provides stealth, privacy, security and is commonly used by consumers and businesses alike.
So, how does a VPN protect you when playing online games?
As mentioned, hackers can execute deliberate attacks by tracking your IP address. By masking your IP address with a gaming VPN, you’ll vanish off their radar instantly.
It is impossible to pinpoint your physical location or carry out targeted attacks with your public IP hidden from plain sight. Also, if a disgruntled gamer attempts to unveil your real identity, his/her effort will be in vain.
Besides acting like a disappearing cloak, a VPN also protects against hackers from turning your data against you. A VPN is built with highly secure encryption. Even if the hacker has successfully intercepted the data, it is impossible to decipher the information without a decryption key.
A VPN also acts as a deterrent against any DDoS attack, which is known to frustrate top gamers. A DDoS attack involves flooding a connected device with requests, which drastically slows down the connection. It’s a possible threat when you’re in a gaming tournament and your opponents resort to underhanded methods to keep you from winning.
As you can see, using a VPN for gaming is critical if you want to stay safe in the online world.
What to look for in a Gaming VPN
It’s unwise to just subscribe to any VPN for gaming purposes. If you end up with the wrong VPN, you’ll be frustrated with dropped connections, lags, and in some cases, compromised security.
Here’s what a gaming VPN should have.
The main intention of a VPN is to keep you safe and this makes security a non-negotiable factor. You’ll want to use a VPN that is built with military-grade encryption. Also, it shouldn’t suffer any form of IP/DNS leaks or other vulnerabilities.
When you’re using a VPN, you’re trusting the provider to protect your privacy. A trustworthy provider will not store session information like your IP address and browsing history, which are traceable to the user.
A VPN for online gaming should not slow down connection at all costs. When you’re connected to a VPN, data passes through a VPN server before it reaches the gaming server. Depending on the VPN provider, the additional latency may affect the gaming experience.
You’ll need a VPN that is optimized for gaming and uses a high-speed data protocol to ensure a seamless gaming experience. Besides that, ensure that it has a considerably large number of servers spread globally. This prevents the servers from easily being congested.
Ease Of Use
Do you want to spend precious gaming time fiddling through a list of VPN servers? Or quickly secure an encrypted gaming-optimized connection? That’s the difference between choosing a user-friendly VPN over one that is not.
How to Use ClearVPN For Online Gaming
Whether you’re playing a first-person shooter like Fortnite or a casual MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), ClearVPN ticks all the boxes for the perfect VPN for gaming.
Here’s how to install and set up ClearVPN for online gaming.
- Install ClearVPN on your device (we use Windows as an example in the picture below)
- Open the app and activate Secure Browsing mode and choose Online Freedom priority for high speed.
- That’s it! Your online journey is protected and private.
Let’s Wrap it Up
Gaming should be a pleasant experience and not one that invites security concerns. As a true gamer, you’ll want to have the upper hand not only against in-game opponents but also any lurking hackers.