The Stay Safe Gamer: Use Public Wi-Fi & Game Anywhere

Sometimes a change of venue can be nice, even as a gamer. Whether in dorms, coffee shops, or at a gaming convention don’t worry yourself about playing your favorite games no matter where you are. However, there are dangers when you use a public Wi-Fi connection. Protect yourself and your computer with these simple steps while on public Wi-Fi.


Most public Wi-Fi connections are relatively safe–most people are decent and aren’t out to steal your data, passwords, or account information. But did you know your computer might actively volunteer information to other computers on the same network without your knowledge?

If you’re like most people, you computer is likely configured for home use. It shares with your printer, other home computers, and even cloud storage devices through your home Internet connection. When you use a public connection, your computer doesn’t necessarily reconfigure settings and limit what your computer shares. Before you connect with a public Wi-Fi connection turn off the sharing options on your computer.


In this day and age, many of the most-popular games require a Internet connection, username and password. While these keep you safe enough while at home, once you’re on a public Internet connection, an authenticator is worth the extra hassle.

An authenticator is an app or service that is linked with your account. When you attempt a login on an unfamiliar device or network the authenticator prompts you for a verification code which is sent via text, email, or app notification. Once you use the verification code, it expires. Nobody can access your account without access to your mobile device in this way, which protects you from phishers who try to record your key strokes as you log in.

Safety Net

If all else fails and a worm or hacker does make it through your authentication, an antivirus with a firm firewall is indispensable. While some antiviruses that provide firewalls block out your computer’s capacity to share specific information essential for gaming, many have specialized gamer modes. Gamer mode allows sharing from your favorite games, but still protects the rest of your computer.

In the case that a hacker of phisher does make it through your defenses, an identity theft prevention service will be essential when you attempt to restore your reputation. Companies like LifeLock monitor your accounts, lines of credit, and more. If you’re a gamer who relies heavily on in-game purchases, this safety net is a must-have.

IP Blockers

IP stands for Internet protocol and while everyone knows about IP addresses, few know what they are used for. Much like a physical address, an IP address is a string of numbers that identifies each and every computer on the Internet. IP blockers, such as Peerblock, block out the IP addresses from known bad sources. The accuracy of this depends on both the settings you have enabled on the IP blocker, as well as the databases the blocker has compiled, which there are regular updates of.

The blocked IPs include governments, corporations, and anti-p2p (peer-to-peer) machines, as well as malicious websites. When you computer pings another for access to a website, the IP blocker receives a packet with the sources IP address. If that IP is on the list of bad ones, that site or computer doesn’t make it to the rest of your computer.