As the video gaming market grows exponentially during the pandemic, one in 10 gamers have had their ID stolen which could be worth as much as $347 billion in loss globally, according to a new report.
For companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, 2020 has been a record-breaking sales year as millions stayed home during the pandemic. According to global research by cyber-security firm Kaspersky, a third (33 per cent) of gamers have suffered at the hands of cheaters.
According to the 5,031 gamers surveyed across 17 countries, nearly a fifth (19 per cent) have also been bullied while playing. All of these combined cause stress and anxiety in 31 per cent of the games surveyed.
"This is disappointing as stress relief is the very thing the majority of them (62 per cent) go to gaming to remove, as well as thrills (62 per cent), and then friendship (46 per cent)," the findings showed.
This worrying trend is even more prevalent in the Russia (44 per cent) Saudi Arabia (27 per cent), Turkey (28 per cent) and the US (27 per cent).
"When gaming, it's important to consider from the outset, how you can best avoid or handle bullies, cheats and hackers. Acting on this early means you can put many of those fears to the side and focus on enjoying the game," said Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.
The report suggested to always shop for PC games either on well-known platforms like Steam and GOG or on official developer sites.
"Official stores often provide amazing discounts, or even free games. But many e-mail offers can be a scam e go to the developer's or store's website to see if the discount is mentioned there if not, it's not real," the report suggested.
Instead of linking a card that has all your savings, get a debit card for online shopping and top it up as needed. That way, should intruders break in to a site you use, they won't get much.