Playing games is fun, but there's an important factor that may not be as exciting - keeping them safe from hackers.

You've probably experienced your favorite game freezing or crashing out of nowhere before. While sometimes it's just a glitch, other times it could be caused by bad actors trying to disrupt the game on purpose.

Game developers take cybersecurity very seriously to prevent those kinds of frustrating situations.

Let's look at three main ways they work to keep games running smoothly and securely:


EA Game Devs, Female Devs
 

1) Building a Strong Infrastructure

To remain safe and secure, games need to be built securely right from the start.

This helps keep the game and your personal information safe and makes sure the game doesn’t keep stopping or slowing down when you’re in the middle of the action.

Good Coding Practices

Having a strong, secure game starts with writing good code - just like you need the right building blocks for a solid house.

Game developers write their code carefully, so there are no openings that hackers could sneak through; that’s why they follow secure coding rules and practices that have been tested and proven to work.

Developers write their code in a defensive way, expecting hackers to try and break in at every point.

They check all data coming from users to make sure it doesn't contain any malicious code snippets, and use proper authentication steps to prevent unauthorized people from getting access.

By following all the established security protocols and best coding practices from the get-go, developers build games with a strong, secure base foundation.

Regular Security Audits

Do you ever go to the doctor for a check-up? In the same manner, games also need to undergo regular security checks.

By regularly checking the game's health, developers can find and fix weak spots before they turn into problems.

Developers run through detailed checks, carefully inspecting every part of the code and systems. That way, they can fix any holes, bugs, or oversights that may have slipped through initially.

Closing those gaps makes it much harder for hackers to find a way to cause trouble.

Continuous Monitoring

Imagine if your game had a security guard that worked 24/7 - this mirrors the concept of real-time monitoring in game development.

If the monitoring picks up anything out of the ordinary, it raises an alert right away; this allows developers to quickly investigate and deal with the potential threat before it causes harm.

It serves as a proactive measure to quickly identify and neutralize any suspicious activities to always remain one step ahead of hackers.


Game Developers, CD Projekt Red Devs, Female Devs
 

2) Protecting Against DDoS Attacks

Sometimes, games go offline because they get a tidal wave of traffic hitting them all at once.

This is usually the result of a DDoS attack, where hackers purposely try to overwhelm and knock the game offline by flooding it.

But game developers are prepared for these kinds of malicious traffic surges.

They have special tools and systems standing by to control the flow and keep the game up and running smoothly for players, despite the hackers' best efforts.

Keeping Your Data Locked Up

Games store a ton of important player information like login details, payment info for purchases, and more, so developers use powerful encryption methods to keep all that sensitive data secure.

They rely on encryption standards like SSL, TLS, and AES to scramble and protect player data.

That way, even if hackers somehow managed to intercept the data, it would just look unintelligible without the proper decryption keys.

Strong encryption ensures players' personal details remain safe and inaccessible to cyber criminals.

Joining Forces with Security Experts

Just like you team up with friends to win in a game, game developers team up with security experts to make sure they’re doing everything they can to protect the game.

These experts provide developers with in-depth knowledge of all the potential threats and vulnerabilities, as well as the tools to combat these.


Female Game Tester, Pink hair girl
 

3) Teaching Players

If you didn't know how to spot the signs of an attack, you'd probably fall for it.

Game companies know this, which is why they teach players how to stay safe. That includes how to sniff out phishing scams, which try to trick you into giving away personal info.

Devs will often incorporate some type of in-game tutorials, email notifications, or social media posts to help keep players safe.

It’s all about teamwork - the game creators keep working on their side to keep everything secure while teaching players how to play it safe too.

Creating Strong Passwords

Game companies also encourage players to use tough-to-crack passwords by using a combination of lower and upper-case letters, numbers, special symbols, and a minimum character length.

Players are also often encouraged to use two-factor authentication to log in, which further helps keep accounts safe.

Rewards for Learning About Safety

Game companies can also motivate players to learn about online safety by offering in-game rewards.

Players who complete security lessons or attend online safety events can earn special items, points, or badges.

Those actively discussing safe internet practices in the game community or forum can receive unique titles that highlight their expertise.

Tying rewards to safety education gamifies the learning experience and makes it more engaging. Players are incentivized to prioritize gaining crucial cybersecurity knowledge through an entertaining format.

This allows game companies to effectively teach online safety skills to their user base.

Staying Safe with a VPN

Using a VPN when you play games online can make things a lot safer, especially if you're on public Wi-Fi, like at a coffee shop.

When you download a VPN and turn it on, it hides your online activity, making it harder for someone to break into your game or steal your information.

Staying Ahead of the Bad Guys

People who try to hack into games are always coming up with new tricks, and what worked to stop them yesterday might not work today.

By constantly monitoring and carrying out security checks, game developers can stay ahead of the game to keep everything running smoothly for their user base.

 

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