One in 10 online game players has had their account stolen and the total loss of players reaches $ 347 billion. This is what the survey released by Kaspersky shows last Thursday (7). The motivation for theft is the resale of data on clandestine sites, which sell profiles with rare items, skins and the progress made by players. The main targets are digital platform accounts such as Steam, Epic Games Store, Battle.net, Origin and Uplay, in addition to the Playstation Network and Xbox Live.
The survey, carried out in partnership with the consultancy Savanta, in November 2020, had more than 5,000 respondents in 17 countries, including Brazil. The estimate is that, worldwide, 180 million players would have been victims of this type of scam in their lifetime. According to the Steam Calculator website, an average Steam account is worth US $ 1,936, almost R $ 10,500, in the current conversion, considering the amount that each user invests in games, game items, etc.
The losses, which reach US $ 347 billion (about R $ 1.8 trillion), affect both gamers and the games industry itself. “The loss is valid for both. For the player, who loses his account, and also for the industry, which has its products sold clandestinely in the parallel market,” explained Karspersky.
It is worth remembering that when it comes to theft of accounts and game information, not even professional players are safe. In a market for items with prices exceeding R $ 500 thousand, big names in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) like Stewie2k, es3tag and “Junior” Johnson have already had their inventories plundered, with losses that reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The methods used in crimes are the most varied. Information can be obtained through malicious links to promotions or sweepstakes, downloading pirated games (which come loaded with malware), or even cheat software for online games. To avoid theft, players need to be increasingly cautious and knowledgeable.
How to prevent your account from being stolen
Some simple measures are extremely effective in protecting online accounts and also the PC. The first is the use of security tools offered by the platforms themselves, such as two-step verification and different and strong passwords for each of their profiles. A secure internet connection and always-on devices also help a lot when it comes to preventing intrusions and protecting files and passwords from malicious websites. When using public Wi-Fi networks, care should be taken even more.
Finally, avoid suspicious links with unreal offers (very cheap games, easy prizes, etc.). Instead, find out about discounts through the company’s official channels, such as Steam and Epic Game Store, or through price comparisons.