January 2, 2019 // 10:46 a.m.
Former Intel subsidiary turned joint venture McAfee has released the results of a survey into security habits of gamers, claiming it reveals concerns over the future of security and a concerning prevalence of password reuse.
As research for a report it has dubbed 'Game Over: The Future of Gaming Security', security specialist McAfee commissioned a survey of 1,000 US residents who reported playing games on a PC or laptop at least four times a month and who spent at least $200 annually on their hobby - leaving the door very wide open to everyone from hardcore gamers to casual bored-on-the-bog types - and claims it highlights growing concerns over security in gaming and issues with gamers failing to protect themselves against attack.
'We found that gamers are most certainly concerned about cybersecurity, however they tend to engage in poor security habits,' claims Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, of the survey's results. 'As PC gaming continues to grow in popularity, it's important for gamers to take steps to help keep their device and personal information protected.'
According to the report, 75 percent of respondents highlighted security as the most-concerning issue surrounding the future of gaming, while 64 percent had either directly experienced or knew someone who had experienced what McAfee has described as the affects of a cyberattack. Despite this, a full 55 percent of respondents admitted to reusing passwords across multiple accounts - meaning that a breach of one account can lead to a breach of the others - while 36 percent believed that the use of private browsing functionality would protect their PC from attack.
Other results from the survey paint a slightly better picture: 83 percent of respondents had anti-virus or other anti-malware software installed, while a surprisingly-high 41 percent claimed to read the privacy policies associated with the games and services they use before signing up - though the survey did not investigate the thoroughness of their understanding.
McAfee's response to the survey's results is entirely unsurprising: The company, which produces and sells security software suites for consumers and businesses, recommends the use of security software suites which include protection against viruses and other malware, phishing attacks, and other threats, along with a firewall, common-sense avoidance of obviously-malicious links or submission of personal information to dodgy websites, and the use of unique passwords for all accounts.
McAfee hasn't published the full report, but has a few more statistics available on its official website.