It was not all fun and games in the aftermath of a widespread Sony PlayStation Network hack in 2011.
The incident affected some 70 million gamers around the world and became one of the biggest corporate leaks ever. The attack on the PlayStation Network (PSN) caused an outage that lasted a few days. During that time, users’ passwords were hacked, making personal information and payment data vulnerable.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Sony Computer Entertainment Europe following the breach, pointing to the country’s Data Protection Act and stating the attack “could have been prevented”. Data protections in the UK are stronger than those in many other countries.
Users of gaming networks are often distracted by the games themselves and not paying close attention to their accounts, one reason video game companies’ databases are common hacking targets. Big players like Sony and Nintendo and smaller-scale companies like France’s Ubisoft have reported illegal attempts to access into their systems.
Children often divulge personal information unnecessarily when creating profiles for gaming and other networks. Make sure they — and you — are only sharing what’s absolutely required to log in or play.
Be sure you know what information had been collected. A user’s location and card payment information are commonly requested, for instance. If you trade in or sell a console, be sure to wipe it of saved sensitive information first.
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