With online gaming growing more popular, the cybersecurity of gamers is an area of concern.

According to cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock, 75 per cent of gamers surveyed in India have experienced a cyberattack on their gaming account. About 35 per cent of them detected malicious software on a gaming device while 29 per cent detected unauthorised access to an online gaming account.

More than six in 10 gamers said they began gaming during the Covid-19 pandemic. About 60 per cent of the respondents said their gaming time has increased during the pandemic.

The 2021 ‘Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Gaming & Cybercrime’ was conducted by The Harris Poll among 703 Indian adult gamers.

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More than four in five of those who experienced a cyberattack said they were financially impacted, losing ₹7,894 on average.

Competitive edge

“Gamers are also willing to take various actions that could compromise the security of themselves or others, simply to give themselves a competitive edge,” the report said.

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The study found that two in five gamers said they were somewhat likely to hack into the account of a friend, family member, or romantic partner if they knew it would give them a competitive advantage; 56 per cent of the respondents said they were likely to exploit a loophole or bug in a game. About 48 per cent would consider paying to take possession of another user’s gaming account, 46 per cent would consider installing cheats to their gaming account or device, and 39 per cent said they would consider hacking into the gaming account of a random player.

Personal security

More than two in five gamers have been tricked into compromising their personal security, either by downloading malware onto a device (28 per cent) or sharing account information online (26 per cent).

Furthermore, one in five gamers have been doxed, with their personal information stolen and posted or shared publicly online, without their consent.

Nearly three in four Indian gamers said they would never fall for a gaming scam, and more than half agreed they don’t give much thought to the security of their gaming devices.

Ritesh Chopra, Director Sales and Field Marketing, India & SAARC Countries, NortonLifeLock, said, “Our report reveals that online gaming is not all about fun and games. In the virtual field we must take precautions to protect information we share, to avoid becoming vulnerable to cyberattack.”

“With online gaming come concerns including hidden fees and in-game currency, characters, or other items being lost or stolen, as our survey showed to be the case for over half of respondents (fees, 60 per cent; in-game items, 58 per cent). In these challenging times, it is crucial to stay updated and aware of the threats that can compromise your safety and privacy in this complex digital world,” added Chopra.