Gamers have a special relationship with their PCs. Not only do their computers help them play the latest games or engage with friends on the Internet, but they double as work machines, allowing them to write documents, send emails, and talk to their colleagues. Gamers also usually use their PCs to buy the latest titles from online marketplaces.
Threats like malware, scams, hackers, and phishing websites can have various adverse effects on a gaming computer. Let’s start with the obvious. Malware like computer viruses can either slow down a gaming system or crash it entirely. Meanwhile, threat actors use scams and phishing attacks to steal sensitive information like credit card numbers.
Gamers must secure their systems from the array of online threats in order to maintain a healthy relationship with their PCs:
1. Cybersecurity Software
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your baked-in Windows security software is sufficient. While Windows Defender is adequate, it fails to protect third-party browsers against malware attacks, scams, and phishing websites by default. Remember, most online attacks occur through web browsers. Additionally, Windows ransomware protection is so poor that Microsoft left it deactivated. It also falls behind third-party anti-malware tools in complete malware protection.
Fortunately, you can find free antivirus software for gamers that offers protection against the following malware:
- Computer viruses
- Computer worms
- Malicious toolbars
- Botnet malware
When downloading antivirus software, avoid bloated fancy-looking programs that will drain your gaming PC’s precious resources. The best solution for a gamer is a light utility that gets the job done fast.
2. Security Patches
There’s a reason why Microsoft regularly releases security patches for its operating systems. With threat actors constantly on the prowl for vulnerabilities, security patches are essential downloads that plug exploitable flaws. Regularly download the latest patches for Windows and other essential software like your web browser and drivers to stay one step ahead of threats.
3. Network Defenses
Your computer firewall is a network barrier that monitors traffic and prevents potential threats from entering your system. Gamers should ensure that their firewalls are defending their machines. You can also activate your operating system’s firewall and your router’s firewall.
For more security, please change the default name of your WiFi network and your router. Please also set complex passwords for your network. These steps will reduce the likelihood of threat actors piercing your network security.
It’s also advisable to use the highest available security protocol for your WiFi. And remember to download the latest version of your router’s software to patch flaws.
For extra network security, invest in a WireGuard-based VPN service. A VPN, short for “Virtual Private Network,” encrypts your data to prevent others from spying on you. It also covers your IP address with a virtual one to prevent trolls, hackers, and swatters from finding your location. It’s a good idea, though, to subscribe to a top-paid service instead of using a free one because free VPNs are usually too slow for gaming. Moreover, free VPN providers have been caught snooping on their users.
While the latest software will significantly boost your gaming PC’s security, you must also adopt the right habits. Steer clear of unsafe websites, messages, and links, and use licensed software supported by the publisher. The best practices combined with top security tools will protect your system from various threat vectors.