If you’re not quite in tune with all the latest and greatest news coming out of the vastly lucrative gaming community, the term “Diablo III” may have about as much effect on your daily life as briefly making eye contact with a stranger on the street. Just to provide a bit of insight, the gaming industry is currently estimated to be worth $65 billion – approximately double that of the recorded music industry.There are even professional, corporate-sponsored gaming leagues around the world where players compete for cash and prizes that even get as high as $75 thousand in value.
Even though Diablo III’s globally phenomenal reach (6.3 million units sold in first week of release) primarily grips hold of a very, very devoted segment of the human population, the issues that the game and its players have been tackling lately should be a matter of concern for anyone who uses the Internet. Much of the news surrounding the game has been inundated with reports of user accounts being successfully hacked where exclusive items and gold, which now actually carry real-world value with the pending launch of an associated live online auction, are stolen.
While some reports blame Blizzard, the maker of Diablo III, for insufficient server security, there are also those that point to the users themselves, arguing that hackers often lay the framework for a break-in long before it is even executed. Regardless of who exactly is more at fault, the core issue at hand is online security – something that anyone who uses the Internet should be very concerned with.
Are you protecting yourself adequately? More importantly, how do you know if you’re in the right hands?
Not Everyone Will Keep You Safe
Scambook users have reported alarming accounts of how they were coaxed by schemes that use computer virus protection as the backdrop for beguiling unsuspecting victims. Some of the more prevalent companies on Scambook with complaints of this nature are Global Connect Cloud, Speedy PC Pro, VideoCaverPro.com, MonstroCloud.com and PC Cleaner Pro (nearly $190 thousand in combined damages and counting). There is a good chance that at one point or another, you have encountered one of these names while surfing the web or something similar thereof.
Should you become a new target, the way that it would all go down is rather simple. According to our user complaints, the two primary objectives that these companies seek to accomplish are obtaining your credit card information and being handed access to your computer on a silver platter.
Whether it is through a random phone call or a pop-up window notification, you will somehow be warned that your computer has fallen prey to a dangerous virus. Then, you will be offered exclusive assistance by a “certified technician” upon purchasing any one of their various protection packages. Finally, they may even ask you to download some type of software that will grant them remote access to your computer (and all of your private files/information) so that they can better locate the problem and resolve – how very convenient.
Averting this type of online trap boils down to two things: Doing your homework and trusting your instincts.
Always Be On Alert
If you really think about it, the mere fact that someone would call your phone out of the blue and claim that your computer has a do-or-die virus on it should be an immediate red flag. Unless you have very specific monitoring parameters already in place with an anti-virus software company that you trust and know to be effective, how and why does anyone else know what is going on with your computer?We may not exactly be experts in computer virus protection, but we can certainly tell you that it is never a good idea to allow anyone remote access to your computer for any reason, especially not someone with whom you connected through a suspicious phone call or pop-up window message. We also cannot harp enough on our recommendation that you always do your research before purchasing anything through a company that you have never heard of before. Once these Internet criminals have your credit card information in hand, it may already be too late.
It is precisely our naivety that these fraudsters are hoping to exploit and take advantage of. You should never feel pressured to purchase any product or service if you don’t feel good about it.
Here are some basic tips you can apply to give yourself a solid chance of not becoming a victim of Internet crimes:
1. Don’t use the same password for all of your user accounts.
2. Periodically cycle your passwords.
3. Do not download files from untrusted sources. If you really feel the need to, do your homework first.
4. If it would help you feel more at ease, install anti-virus software on your computer. If you really do your research, you will find that there are a number of free and legitimate protection programs out there as well. But again, do your homework!
We’re never here to give you any advice that we would ever claim to be completely fail-safe, but we do definitely hope that we can give you a chance to avoid matters like this even if it is merely through awareness, which is always the key.
[Statistics Sources: http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55364:sa-gaming-industry-hits-r1.7bn, http://www.gamespot.com/news/online-gaming-tournament-kicks-off-globally-with-75000-in-cash-and-prizes-6101284]