What is “swatting” and why is it dangerous? Everyone talks a little trash while gaming online. But trash-talking can get ugly fast. If your opponent gets too worked up, they can trace your address, pick up the phone, and send the police to your house claiming that you’re holding people hostage or carrying a bomb.
Of course, the police must take all threats seriously. Next thing you know, you leave your game to answer the door in the middle of the night and are greeted by a heavily armed SWAT team surrounding your house.
Tragically, swatting can result in death. Although there are federal laws to deter the practice, swatting continues. Even celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, and Kim Kardashian are victims of the deadly prank.
What’s the difference between swatting and doxing?
Doxing is a less dangerous but still serious prank where a troll can uncover some or all of your following confidential information and post it on the Internet for others to see:
- Phone number
- Email address
- School information
- Work information
- Social media accounts
- And more…
How do I prevent privacy breaches?
One of the easiest ways for someone to breach your privacy is to use your IP address to start collecting your data. An IP address is a unique string of numbers designated to you by your ISP. Usually, you can find someone’s IP address in a multiplayer game quite easily.
Related recent news: Kaspersky Presents Cybersecurity Issues in Dating Apps at MWC21
An excellent way to mask your IP address is by arming yourself with VPN protection from a reputable Virtual Private Network service provider. When you connect to a VPN server, you select another IP address that masks your IP address. And when a potential troll checks your IP address, they see the IP address provided by the VPN server instead of the one assigned by your ISP.
Additionally, a good VPN service can provide gamers with the following benefits:
- Encrypt your data for further security
- Bypass geo-blocks to play with friends in any corner of the world
- Bypass geo-blocks to access video game shopping deals
- Bypass geo-blocks to access regionally censored video games like Mortal Kombat
Not only does a powerful VPN allow gamers to consume fresh video game content, but it allows them to consume new types of entertainment. For example, with the right VPN, you can circumvent geo-blocking technology from Netflix, and watch movies and shows inaccessible in your region.
However, you must select a good VPN from a renowned service provider and avoid a free VPN service. As you probably know, VPNs can be slow, especially the top free VPN services, because they’re overcrowded and lack the budget to provide fast servers. To make matters worse, some free VPNs spy on their users.
A good VPN with the latest and fastest technology that does not keep logs on user activities is likely to be fast, safe, and secure. Aside from a VPN, you can also improve network security by enabling your network firewall.
Please also use top cybersecurity software that offers anti-malware technology to secure your computer from spyware attacks. Use complex passwords for your online accounts. Finally, avoid interacting with trolls to play games without the stress.
YouTube: Top 10 Gamers Swatted On Live Stream
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Tima Miroshnichenko.
Source: Jason Hanna and Jamiel Lynch (CNN) / Fred Dutton (Eurogamer) / Anthony Spadafora (TechRadar)
Editorial notice: Please always check your local laws before making use of technology in a way that might be not legal. You should also review the terms of service from any service provider before using such technology to prevent bans or deleted accounts. When in question, you can always consult the support team of a game to check their stance on the matter – just to be safe.