Can You Get Hacked Through a Mobile Game?

If you’ve ever enjoyed playing games on your phone, the question, “Is it even possible to be hacked through my phone?” isn’t strange. 

After all, many of us enjoy the good old puzzle solving and more on our devices. 

Research shows a worrying number: by 2025, cybercrime will grow to $10.5 trillion. That means that a lot of people all over the world will be losing money and personal information to hackers. 

In this article, we’ll explore whether or not hackers could get into our devices via our phones. 

The mobile gaming scene

Let’s get this question out of the way first: how can hackers even get into your mobile games?

The answer is pretty…underwhelming and obvious if you know what you’re looking for. 

Mobile games (all apps, really) need permission to function. They can ask for access to your phone camera, pictures, email address, and sometimes your location. 

While these permissions allow you to enjoy the game, they can also be risky for your privacy, especially when they are misused. 

Unfortunately, the most common threat for mobile devices is unwanted software. 

More about permissions

We all agree to give most permissions without a second worth of thoughts. 

After all, social media apps already “know almost everything about us.” But this doesn’t mean that all permissions are necessary. 

For example, some games could ask for permissions they don’t need, and your data can be exposed this way. 

Here’s what you should do in this case: 

  • Review and question why some apps ask for certain permissions. Contacts or locations shouldn’t be asked for if the game doesn’t need them. 
  • Google the developer and research how they manage user privacy. If the developers are trustworthy, they will prioritize security. A weird or secretive history can hint at past mistakes that could repeat themselves. 
  • After you get the app, go to the settings and customize and restrict the permissions you’re not sure about. For example, you can restrict the location access to the moments when you’re playing and nothing more. Same thing with the camera or even the keyboard. 

In-game scams and pop-ups

The main reason why mobile games can be the entryway for viruses is the pop-ups: extra lives, more time to play, discounts, and even rare items can play when we’re immersed in the game. 

Sometimes, the offer is very tempting. 

When it sounds like it’s too good to be true, get suspicious. Some hackers know that by offering these discounts and extra lives, you might be willing to give out more information, for example, your credit card number and password. 

From there, they really can use it for whatever they want. 

Remember: in the mobile gaming community and the gaming community in general, scams are not just some annoying pop-ups. 

Phishing exists, and it’s the most common cybercrime out there. People of all genders and ages fall for it every day.

You can get an email with discounts on your favorite game, and all you’d have to do is click on a website and enter your financial information. Generally speaking, if the email is weird, it’s likely fake. 

Even worse, some cyber criminals build websites that look exactly like legitimate gaming platforms. 

These are designed to prompt you to act: buy things, get things, fill out your info, etc. Always use two-factor authentication when you can, and make sure your antivirus is updated. 

Unsecured Wi-Fi

We often play mobile games when we’re “on the go,” so to speak. This means that we might connect to public Wi-Fi networks along the way. 

Unfortunately, public Wi-Fi is one of the best grounds for hackers to find new victims, as they can spy on your activity through fake networks. 

To avoid falling for this, you can get privacy software, like a VPN, when you connect your phone to public Wi-Fi. You can even get Surfshark’s dedicated IP and use it exclusively for gaming. 

Unsafe apps

When you download and play games on your phone, you’re prone to make mistakes. Most of us are. 

Malicious apps are out there and are not always easy to spot. Unfortunately, research shows that about 80% of attacks against mobile devices take place via apps.

Malicious apps act on your phone like any normal virus on your laptop. 

It steals your data and leaves you vulnerable to even more attacks from other cybercriminals. 

Don’t download apps outside of the PlayStore; check out the reviews before you download anything.

To sum up

So, to answer the original question: can you get hacked through a mobile game? 

The answer is yes, but there’s no need to panic. The risks are there like they are whenever we log online. 

If you stay informed and pay attention to the most common methods for scamming people, you will be fine, especially if you know when to invest time and money in your online safety. 

It’s possible to game safely without having to quit any enjoyment! 

Written by Guest Posts

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