In the past, antivirus products slowed devices down. But things have changed. Gaming and security are not mutually exclusive anymore. F‑Secure SAFE internet security won Best Protection and Best Performance awards by AV-TEST in 2020 for outstanding protection that doesn’t slow you down. But do you need antivirus software for PC gaming? Yes.
Gamers are affected by all the same online threats as everyone else, such as malware and phishing. In addition, some threats are targeted specifically at gamers. It doesn’t help that many gamers think antivirus is detrimental to both their gaming experience and their computer’s overall performance. In turn, many gamers are left particularly vulnerable.
It’s also worth noticing that gaming involves lots of money and personal information, which attracts criminals. In fact, gaming-related online attacks have increased especially during COVID-19 when people have had more time to spend playing games.
Below are some threats that gamers need to be aware of.
Antivirus for gaming won’t slow your PC down, but malware will
Malware can cause lag, system crashes and all kinds of other annoying things. These threats can disturb gaming and damage computers. Antivirus is the best way to stay safe and keep things running smoothly.
Keyloggers can steal your login credentials to online games and accounts
Keyloggers log which keys you type. They typically target passwords and banking credentials. Losing an account is bad on its own, but even worse if it includes skins, DLC, and other valuable content. You can also lose access to your games for example in Steam and other platforms, if your account is stolen.
You can be tricked into installing malicious games, apps, mods, and updates
This is not exclusive to gamers, but you don’t really see many people downloading mods or cheats for Excel. You can be tricked into downloading basically any malware, and without antivirus you might never even know it.
Gaming-specific ransomware is out there
Ransomware is some of the worst cyber threats. It encrypts your files and asks for payment to unlock them. Some ransomware is hidden within gamer-oriented content, such as files containing cheats, and all the other content mentioned in the previous section.
ID theft and impersonation can ruin a rising star
Want to be a vlogger or an e‑sports athlete? Identity theft can make things really difficult for your reputation. Personal information for identity theft can easily be stolen with malware. Other methods include data breaches and phishing.
Phishing and social engineering
Phishing links can be sent through game chats and social engineering is quite common. These methods are used to trick you into downloading harmful content, giving personal information, and trade scams.
The award-winning F‑Secure SAFE includes Gaming mode which optimizes performance for smooth and secure gaming experience. All updates, scans and notifications are postponed, which releases more bandwidth and capacity for gaming. SAFE protects you from malware, blocks malicious websites and secures your online shopping and banking. Awarded for its security and speed, it’s the perfect choice for gamers.