Installing games and PC security

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Hi folks,

I was just wondering, if you install games (e.g. Counter Strike) on your computer (laptop), does this open your system up to more potential threats (i.e. hacking, system access, viruses etc)?

And does it make any difference if you just play games offline compared with playing online (with Steam for example)?

Any thoughts much appreciated,
D
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks t53186

But what about when you install things like Steam to run/play games - isn't this allowing access into your computer (for people who may abuse or use Steam as a door into your system)?
 

k1114

Distinguished
Moderator
Your internet browser opens the same doors plus many bigger doors. If someone really wants to hack you, there is no way you are going to stop them other than disconnecting from the internet and not having wifi capabilities. But unless you're the president or someone important, the only doors you need to worry about are the ones in your browser. Don't go to compromised websites and don't click on the wrong thing.
 
Think of it this way, by having your computer on the internet you are leaving the doors unlocked on your house, buy playing an online game you now left a window cracked open as well. By opening another port, opening another connection to the internet you add another avenue of infection, but compaired to what is already open this is minimal.
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
The only 100% way to have a completely safe PC is unplugged, in a 20' deep hole, filled with cement.

Games and applications from known, trusted publishers are fine. Like Steam.
They've been used and tested by thousands or millions of people.

Of course, there will always be some new vulnerability. Whether it be the OS, or some game platform, or some other application.
Usually patched sooner or later.

But if you go off the reservation and get things from untrusted sources, or even worse, pirated...all bets are off.
 

Phillip Corcoran

Splendid
Moderator
Just having your PC connected to the internet carries risks against which any sensible person takes the usual precautions.

Online gaming presents no greater risk than simply being connected to the internet and browsing the web, for example.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks boosted1g

All sounds a bit concerning! Any basic free software to help stay protected whilst online?

Hope you've had a good weekend :)
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFret

In the hole it goes... ;)

What do you think about installing Microsoft Windows 10 updates? Is this necessary or just another thing that could mess up my laptop? Or is not updating the OS creating a security risk?
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Yes, NOT updating is a security risk.
Those patches include fixes for vulnerabilities.
No patch, your system is open to whatever that vuln is.

And with Win 10, you don't have a lot of choice. You WILL get those patches.

The reasoning behind this is...
Previous to Win 10, many, many people turned the OS updates off. Either on purpose, or accidentally, or from a misguided sense of "OMG MS is trying to screw up my system."
Leaving thousands (millions) of systems open and vulnerable. Many of those became infected, for vulnerabilities that were patched long, long ago.

Major cry in the IT community..."why does this happen?"
'Well..if you don't patch your system, you leave it vulnerable'

Enter Win 10..."OK, we will force this on you. You have little choice. Your systems WILL be updated."
Again...major cry in the IT community..."MS is forcing these patches on us! I should be allowed to decide!"

Can't have it both ways.

Bottom line:
Let the OS do its updates. Obviously, nothing is 100% perfect, and no two systems are identical. Things happen.
But the vast majority of systems experience zero issues from the monthly patches from MS.
And those that do, it is usually from a 3rd party driver, for some obscure piece of hardware.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Roger that, will keep up-to-date with the patches.
How do you feel about Steam by the way, is that safe to use? (I've read articles where it's been hacked in the past).
Cheers
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


I use Steam.
No more issues with that than anything else.
As said....there is no 100% security.
 

Not a dinosaur, per se, as many still use Win 7.

However, I would encourage you to think about transitioning to Win 10. It is arguably a better version of Windows in nearly every way when it comes right down to it.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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I went and updated my system completely (many Windows 10 'cumulative updates') and now my Wifi is very unstable (cuts out randomly every few minutes)... I must say I'm kind of regretting allowing Windows 10 to update and mess up my system when it was running fine before.

Any advice on the wifi cutting out would be much appreciated! Thanks again USAFRet :)
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Go to the manufacturers website and see if there is a new driver for your WiFi.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Already done that (installed the latest driver, from 2016).

I also re-installed my router to see if that would help... but no difference.

Any other ideas (besides doing a re-install/roll-back of Windows 10)?

Thanks again!
 
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