Streaming video games – whether it’s a Let’s Play or a Twitch stream or a sponsored review – is a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s lucrative for game companies, advertisers… and criminals.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Whether you’re a casual gamer streaming for fun, an entrepreneur pro-gamer working as a professional streamer, or even just a casual consumer who enjoys watching video game streams, it’s important to manage your privacy online.
Streaming has changed the face of the gaming world. In many ways, it’s easier than ever to share your gaming experience with the entire internet, compete in championships, or just watch someone play. other play the latest game from your favorite franchise. However, there are also online privacy risks related to ease of access. You don’t need to compromise your security to enjoy streaming. Here are some tips for managing your privacy on the Internet.
Make sure your browser is secure
Streaming services can be accessed through dedicated apps and websites through a browser. A properly encrypted and secure site helps prevent cyberattacks. Look for the “HTTPS” or padlock icon in the address bar. The “S” indicates that the Hypertext Transfer Protocol is secure.
If you use a private browser or incognito browsing mode, this can also reduce the risk of cyberattacks or data thieves.
When you give a cookie to a site
Cookies are cached data that helps a website load faster, but cookies also track your usage and data, and can hamper your system speed. Only allow or accept necessary cookies and be sure to check the permissions requested by a website when you see the pop-up cookie notification.
Regularly clearing your browser’s cache not only helps with security, but can also improve your system’s performance.
Never share your login information
It may seem logical, but never share your passwords, login details or other personal information with anyone. Hackers can steal your identity, even if you only use a username or online ID. Don’t take the risk. Protect your usernames, passwords and financial information and never share them with people online.
If you manage a streaming channel and use a team to help manage uploads, editing, community management, or other tasks, each member of the team should have their own username and password. Most apps and platforms provide options to create a team and authorize individuals on what they can and cannot do. So never share your personal information, even if you trust your team.
Check your privacy settings
Whatever platform you use, be it Steam, Twitch, YouTube, or a proprietary console network like Playstation or Xbox, check your online privacy settings for your account. It’s usually simple and straightforward, and most privacy options are under your account or settings.
Check what information is accessible by others, what permissions you allow the site or app to use (like tracking your usage for bug reports or performance issues), and how much – or little – of your information personal that can be discovered.
If you share images or videos, check if the platform associates your location with your metadata. You may not want to share where you are with the world.
Enable two-factor authentication
A simple yet effective way to add an extra layer of security to your profile and account is to use two-factor authentication. When you log in, you’ll be asked to verify yourself either by email, text, or by entering a code from an authenticator app linked to your account.
Watch your portfolio
If you monetize your streaming channel or accept donations, be aware that people who donate money to you may see your legal name. You can create a business account with services like PayPal or Stripe to hide your personal information while allowing legal transactions in your bank account.
Unfortunately, no method is foolproof. You can significantly improve your chances by taking simple precautionary steps and enabling additional layers of security to keep you safe and limit the risk of your online privacy being breached.
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Last updated May 21, 2022.