Hardcore gamers are more likely to suffer a cyberattack

Silhouette of a gamer in front of an orange TV
(Image credit: Shutterstock / HaseHoch2)

Nearly half of all gamers (46%) have been the victim of a cyberattack, with the figure rising to 66% among hardcore gamers, reveals a new survey.

Furthermore, in their bid to shed light on the cyber risks impacting the gaming community, the global survey conducted by NortonLifeLock finds that well over half (76%) of the attacked gamers have lost more than $700 on average as a result of the attack.

Surprisingly, many gamers admit to a number of risky online gaming habits, such as reusing the same password for more than one gaming account or device, and sharing personal information including their names and birthdays, while playing a game online. 

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Some even admitted to downloading add-ons from a website that isn’t associated with the game distributor.

"Cheats, trainers and exploits can be incredibly alluring for driven gamers. Scammers know this and will often try to trick gamers into clicking phishing links or downloading malware by touting limited edition items or secret cheat codes that promise to give a competitive boost,” remarked Darren Shou, Head of Technology, NortonLifeLock.

Whatever it takes

The survey of over 5,300 adults across eight countries also uncovered surprising findings about gamer-to-gamer cyber risks, and the great lengths gamers are willing to go to win. 

For instance, nearly one in four (27%) gamers admit that they would hack into the gaming account of a friend, family member or romantic partner if they knew it would give them a competitive advantage in an online game. This sentiment is more pronounced among hardcore gamers in the US, with two in five (42%) admitting to this behaviour.

Furthermore, among American gamers who have had a gaming device or account targeted by a cyberattack, one in five (21%) have been doxxed, or had their personal information stolen and shared publicly online.

"I've learned that when you're gaming online, it's so important to be mindful of who you are friends with online and what information you share. While this is especially true for professional gamers who have that public profile, it's clear this goes for any online gamer,” suggests BigCheeseKIT, gamer and Twitch streamer.

Make sure you protect yourself online with these best identity theft protection services and use these best security keys to add another layer to safeguard your accounts

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.