Gamers warned of risks of “always online” games such as SimCity and Diablo

The new trend for “always online” games such as SimCity and Blizzard’s Diablo 3 may be putting gamers at risk, experts warn.

The games, which require an Internet connection even for single-player gaming, are designed to protect game companies from piracy. But by forcing a new population of PC gamers to play online, they could be putting game fans at risk from cyber threats such as malware and identity theft.

Gamers are particularly at risk, because games can ‘lag’ or refuse to play altogether if used alongside PC security features. According to a survey of 1,000 PC gamers in the UK commissioned by ESET, more than 30 percent of PC gamers admit that they disable PC security features before playing online. As a result, more than half of PC gamers admit to having spent more than two days repairing a PC after a malware infection.

“It’s evident that gamers are not protecting themselves sufficiently and are unaware of the risk of playing online without protection – and as more and more titles require a constant Internet connection, that’s a real worry,” said Quinton Watts, VP of Marketing and Sales, ESET.

“We’re in an age where cyber attacks can be detrimental to a person’s identity security and gamers, savvy as they may be, put themselves at risk far more than they need to.”

Earlier this month the BBC reported that a user had hacked SimCity to run offline.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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