18 February 2010

Preventing Online Game Hacking the Right Way

Hackers have been around since the early development of computers, although they have gone by different names at different times. Today, online hacking of games is
one of the biggest areas of unauthorized computer mischief. The popularty of free online games and the number of people who choose to play games online is part of the reason for this growing problem. How are people hacking games online, and what methods for prevention of hacking are out there?

Online Gaming Experience
Online gaming is growing in popularity every year because the experience allows for multi-player interaction in simulated worlds. There are even kids online games designed to allow children to play against competitors of their own age. Many of these games are role playing games, where the player takes on the identity of their game character. This provides a level of anonymity that is hard to duplicate in other environments.

Hacking of Online Games
So why are so many people going online hacking games? How does online game hacking work? What is the appeal of game hacking on the Internet?

Appeal of Online Game Hacking
An online hacker can come into the environment you have built and steal the identity you have created. If you are doing well on your game, they will steal your success. They may even sell the characters you have built to other gamers. This kind of activity involve more than the thrill of the game. Online gaming tournaments can be sufficiently lucrative to allow some gamers to turn professional. The characters they have created and the resources they have amassed in a given "reality" can represent tremendous profit potential and are a key aspect of their reputation as recognized players.

Sadly, some people choose to cheat at online games because they actually enjoy ruining the experience for someone else. Other hackers enjoy the thrill of "breaking the code" on a computer game as a technological challenge. Hacking passwords from online games can be profitable if the hackers sell the access information. While we may never fully understand what leads some people to acts of computer vandalism, hacker societies exist around the world and routinely work as a group to develop better strategies for gaining access to data and systems that are not their own.

Playing Online Games Without Being a Target for Hackers

Because online gaming creates anonymity, hackers can do their work without being caught. They carefully design hacking soft wares that they
sell among themselves to allow others to use the codes they create. The cheat codes they build are hidden from game developers carefully, so they will not be able to block them. This does not mean, however, that there are not tools available to stop online hacking programs!

Are You a Target?

One of the best ways to prevent hacking is knowing whether or not you are a target for a hacker.
Are you doing well in your game?

Is your character winning, or does he have a power or ability that is highly desirable?

Have you built something in your online environment that is impressive?

If you answer yes to any or all of these questions you are most likely a target!

In addition to these factors, pay attention to what is going on inside your gaming community. Have other players been the victim of hackers? If so, what methods were used? By staying aware of what is going on in the online "world" in which you are participating, you will be exercising the same kind of vigilance against criminals that you use in the "real world."

Anti-hacking Tools

So what can you do to prevent hacking programs from destroying your gaming environment? There are many companies offering anti-hacking measures for online game worlds. To keep your game secure, you download these programs onto your computer. The problem with anti-hacking programs is that hackers are quite smart, and they find ways around these programs. That is why you need to look for programs that offer an automatic update feature. This ensures that whenever a patch is available, your computer receives it, and your game is as secure as possible.

Many games come with anti cheat programs pre-installed. The problem with this is that hackers are experts on getting through these programs. Just because you start playing a game that assures you it is secure, make sure your computer is secure as well. If your computer has a back door or your network is unsecured and you start doing well in a game, you can expect to become the target for a hacker!

Free online games are often the biggest problem for those wishing to fight hackers. If you play games online, be aware that hackers can disrupt the world you build, no matter what you do. But there are methods for prevention of hacking, and you can build a more secure environment with the right anti-hacking software. Be prepared to deal with online hacking of games, and you will have a better presence in your online gaming environment

AbhiShek SinGh
Founder of 'TheHackingArticles'. Cyber Security Analyst, Cyber Security Researcher, and Software Engineer. Follow 'AbhiShek SinGh' on Facebook , Twitter or Google+ or via Email

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