Esafety, also known as online safety, refers to the measures and practices individuals and organisations use to protect themselves and others from online dangers and risks. This can include protecting personal information, preventing cyberbullying and harassment, avoiding scams, phishing, and promoting digital wellness.
Online gaming can be a fun and rewarding activity, but it can also expose players to potential risks online. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
Use a strong and unique password
This will help prevent unauthorised access to your account. Passwords shouldn’t be easy to guess, so no pet’s names or birthdays! You can Google ways to make your passwords stronger, such as using a string of random characters (so long as you remember), or combinations or random words.
Be cautious when sharing personal information
Never share your full name, address, phone number, or financial information. Doxing is an issue many can face when sharing personal info, and if you’re targeted online, your social media accounts may be found which could lead to the discovery of your address, phone number etc. It is much safer in the first place to keep all this information to yourself.
Know who you’re playing with
Play in a moderated environment or with people you know. This ensures the safety of your personal information. It’s best that you know who you’re playing with (no one wants to end up on Catfished!)
Be aware of phishing scams
These can be disguised as gaming websites or emails. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources. This is a general esafety tip that can apply elsewhere, but if you’re downloading programs/software or receive emails from ‘Publishers’ or ‘gaming companies’ always be cautious.
Adjust the privacy settings on your gaming accounts to control who can see your profile, activity, and personal information. Like social media, you can set a lot of information to be private on a lot of games/platforms. This is always the safest option if you can.
Report abusive behaviour
If you encounter abusive or harmful behaviour, report it to the game’s support team or appropriate authorities. This is a big one and never something to be ashamed of. Sometimes in online gaming, you may be faced with people who are toxic and hide behind their screens. The best thing to do is not to engage them, but to file a report of the abuse through the game. No one ever deserved to have abusive/harmful behaviour directed toward them online, so hit that report button to stay safe yourself, but also to keep the community safe and prevent it happening to others.
Keep your software and antivirus up to date
Make sure your operating system, game clients, and antivirus software are up to date to prevent malware and other security threats. If you have a trusted antivirus software in place, it can stop threats to your PC long before you even would have known they were there!
Take breaks and practice good digital hygiene
Gaming for extended periods can lead to fatigue and eye strain. Take breaks, practice good digital hygiene, and protect your mental and physical health. This is a big one and something we all forget, but if your mental and physical wellbeing is at its peak, so too will be your gaming performance. It’s cause and effect, so getting an appropriate amount of sleep, balanced diet and fresh air can go a long way when you’re trying to rank up!
By following these tips, you and others can stay safe while enjoying online gaming. Remember that online safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone should contribute to creating a safe and welcoming gaming community, so if you see others struggling with online safety whilst gaming, make sure to suggest some of the above tips to help!
For more information, we encourage you to check out the eSafety Commissioner’s site where you will find plenty of other resources: