Fortnite – Not All Fun and Games
Fortnite was the most popular game of 2018. No one knows why it became such a hit, though the free online game has brought 125 million gamers together on a single platform. Whenever you have this many people engaging together anonymously online, the number of scammers looking to capitalize on the opportunity will increase. From children to post grads, this game has become an obsession for some. This obsession can dull the wit of many gamers allowing them to be fooled into giving up personal information in exchange for V-Bucks.
V-Bucks are the currency in Fortnite used to purchase cosmetic upgrades to characters that are usually only available through extended hours of gameplay. These upgrades may seem useless to non gamers, but to fans it can mean a lot if someone is offering free V-Bucks.
During gameplay, players can communicate with each other via live chat. In some cases it is beneficial to be able to chat with your team, though in other cases you may be talking to a scammer. Scammers can mention free V-Bucks to teammates over chat to lure them into visiting particularly dangerous websites. This may sound suspicious to some, but others may think why not just take a look and see if it looks legitimate?
In the past, these types of websites were pretty easy to spot. Scammers did not put much money or effort into the site’s design because the particular scam would probably not last long. Fortnite has been proven to provide many eager victims and has compelled scammers to spend more time and effort on creating a “legitimate looking” site that will deliver lasting results. By making the site look like as if it is associated with Fortnite, the players feel it is a safe place to divulge information. Even though the “HTTPS” at the top of the page suggests the sites information is secure, it does not suggest the intent of the site.
Unfortunately, the scams go beyond the game. On social media, Youtube and many other sites, links to untrustworthy sites are being shared. The more they are shared, gamers gain a sense of trust that these sites may be legitimate. There are over 4,000 domains related to Fortnite scams that may lead to spyware and other forms of malicious software.
One of these forms of spyware is keylogging software. This software, once downloaded to your device unknowingly along with your intended download, will log your keystrokes, allowing the scammer to obtain your passwords and usernames and even other personal information such as your address.
As it becomes harder to spot untrustworthy sites, using an antivirus software will help warn you before opening a link or website that contains malware or spyware. This can be an extremely helpful asset to gamers as well as the casual internet user.
There are some simple tips you can follow to help stay safe while playing Fortnite as well as most MMORPG games. It’s important to understand that there is no way to obtain V-Bucks from anywhere but within the Fortnite game itself. So remember that regardless of anyone’s claim, its false. Next, be very wary of anyone you speak to on the game unless you know them personally. Do not go to any site suggested by anyone on the game regardless of the reason and don’t divulge any information like your full name or where you are from. In some cases, they may not be after something as obvious as a credit card number. Sometimes, seemingly minor information about you can give the hacker what they need to obtain further details relating to your online activities that can be found on a social media profile or a school website.
If you were in a room full of strangers you probably wouldn’t divulge your personal information without verifying they are trustworthy. Gaming online where verifying trustworthiness is nearly impossible, should be treated the same way. The safety gaming online gives you is anonymity, so don’t give that up. Make sure that no one knows any personal information more than your username within the game.
MMORPG games are fun because they are social. Just remember that not everyone playing is there for the fun of the game. Keep your guard up and enjoy the game.
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