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Can you really trust them? How to deal with online games friends

Can you really trust them? How to deal with online games friends

Friendship is one of the best things that can happen to humans. It is soul-refreshing and, hopefully, always supportive. But, failing to choose friends wisely will cause numerous issues, especially in this digital age. The term ‘online friends’ started to appear with the inception of the internet and gained momentum with the spread of social media. Gaming friends are common for both adults and young children as they spend lots of time playing online and chatting with strangers online.

Is Online Friendship Authentic?

The authenticity of online friendships is always questionable. Security experts recommend people to only maintain online contacts with people you know well in the real world. The gaming world operates in a frenzy mode, including anyone who can play well. It is wise to think twice before accepting online friend requests in games and stick to a group of people you actually know in the physical world. 

It is extremely easy for a person to pretend as someone they are not in online chat rooms. There are very few ways to check their real identity online. Most people in gaming chats fail to disclose even their real name. Such activities make experts question the authenticity of online friendships.

Harmful gaming friendships might often lead to cyberbullying, privacy issues, or reputation loss if you fight with a stranger whose capacity you underestimate. Psychologists state the reliability of online gaming friendships is highly questionable as it is quite shallow and only based on certain game interests.

Dangers of Online Friends

Here is a list of the top ten common dangers in accepting online friend requests while gaming.

Oversharing

 Strangers easily extract all the personal information from the details you share in chats like the place you live, your work, free time, etc. Victims carelessly give access to strangers to view the most important aspects of their life. Looting your house when you are busy working for long hours becomes easy for them with such data. 

Fake identity

Though there are several identity verified accounts, there is no guarantee the actual person is chatting with you. Anybody can steal another person’s digital identity easily and make victims believe their fake persona. 

Stalking

 Gaming platforms, social media, and forums are the three common places strangers meet, mingle, and befriend each other. Stalking is a common issue when you try to break the friendship of strangers in the gaming world. 

Hacking

 Not all gaming chat requests are genuine. It might be an AI robot or a hacker impersonating an experienced player. They can easily guess your password and steal your gaming assets and sell them on the black market. 

Endangering family safety

 Strangers you befriend on a gaming platform might try to extract job-related secrets from you, use you as bait to gain access to your friend’s circle or family. Whenever you disclose some personal information, it effectively puts your family at risk as well.

Forced Adultery

Children, especially teenagers, often fall victim to gaming adultery easily. Accepting friend requests from strangers might lead to various issues like blackmail, threatening, bullying and forcing them to watch adult content, etc. 

Malware and Virus

 Some friend requests pop up randomly when you are trying to play a game or exit the game. Be extra careful in avoiding them, as clicking on the accept button might release various types of malware into the system. Be cautious of links you are sent to double-check the source and click on the link only if you’re sure it’s safe.

Scams

 There are several scams in the gaming world. A stranger befriending you might get money from you or make you pay for a particular cheat of a game and disappear with your money. They can simply make you pay online and hack your bank account and steal all the money from it. 

Content Stealing

 Strangers befriend game creators online in the name of their friends or fans. Over time, they start stealing their content or reusing content without the concern of the creator. Sometimes, they get details regarding certain important game project launches and leak them to the competitors, reducing the value of the content.

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Low Security

 You cannot complain regarding digital peer pressure or bullying effectively on gaming platforms. Unlike social media, most gaming platforms are not registered or monitored, and it is extremely hard to track who is using them.

Whom to Trust?

It is wise to choose good friends in real life and carefully avoid unwanted friendships. When it comes to the digital world, there is no necessity to let your guard down and befriend anyone and everyone who shows interest in you.

  1. Try to avoid chatting with strangers while playing online games, even if it is for a very short time.
  2. Play games or chat online only with people whom you know well in the real world. 
  3. Do not accept the friend request from anyone who claims to be the friend of your friend while playing online games
  4. If they have provided their name, use Nuwber to see whether they have told the truth about themselves. You may ask for some extra details like the city they are from to check if they are honest.
  5. If you are not able to pinpoint the underlying motive behind the friendship and even have a slight suspicion the person is trying to extract some sort of information from you, block them.
  6. If you prefer to be social and make new friends, don’t reveal too much about yourself. Take some time to see if the person is trustworthy and really wants to be your friend.

It is always wise to take precautionary steps instead of trying to fix issues or major damages done due to carelessness in this digital age. Don’t ever feel bad about hurting the feelings of online friends or suspicious gaming chat mates in case you need to protect yourself – better be safe than sorry.

Several gamers fear they might lose their reputation if they do not respond easily to stranger chat requests and be termed as a coward. It is better to stay on the safer side rather than create unwanted contacts and put yourself at risk.

Conclusion

The authenticity of online game friendships is always questionable as you do not know who is hiding behind the user name and the profile photo. Online game friends might seem trustworthy. But, always be careful about what information you are sharing with them. There are high chances of them using your interest to befriend you and gather sensitive information about your job or personal life to use against you later.