hex When it comes to the more technical aspect of gaming there are two types of gamer. Those who are tech savvy computer users and those who can only just about get Steam to install.

Many people just want to game, they don’t care how it works or why downloads take time, they want to smack the buttons and get lulz! – that’s fine, I’m not judging you but with so much hacking effecting the games companies we love i thought i should write a quick ‘edu-blog’ about computer security.

I’m going to assume you are using Microsoft Window’s Visa or newer (Windows 7) as your operating system (the thing you see when you turn your PC on) and that you know how to use webpages (because you reading this!)

The first thing that any gamer should install is an antivirus program and a Firewall. usually these two come as a single item and often the free options are at least as good as the paid alternatives. The antivirus portion of the software basically stops your computer getting sick (and some times sneezing our your personal information) while the Firewall portion is protection against nefarious programs and ninja like intruders. Here are my two recommendations (Both free)


Microsoft Security essentials: this is ideal for the less tech savvy gamer as you download/install and then forget about it. it maintains its self about 90% of the time and won’t bother you except for the occasional update. its a really good level of protection for anyone and i consider it to be great for lower powered PC’s


Comodo internet security (Free version): Comodo is my personal security application of choice. its a very paranoid piece of software and will ask you every time a new application wants to use the internet and its not ashamed of it, it will often irritate and some times can crash a game when you load for the first time but the irritation is nothing compared to the level of security you have over your system it is in my opinion the best firewall out there. The antivirus portion of it is also superb and does everything you would expect from a package of this kind.

The next thing that i recommend for any gamer is a method for dealing with spyware. There are many applications out there but there is one that stands high and mighty above every other knowing it is king.


Spybot Search and Destroy: Spybot is awesome, run it once a week. update it, then immunise and scan. you should pretty much be spyware free for life, it really is that simple. its only draw back is that the protection you have is not automated it requires you weekly attention to be really full proof. but its very good at what it does.


Another thing that people overlook with security is their choice of web browser. as much as Microsoft would argue this statement its pretty accurate ‘Internet explorer is bad’ i know, that sounds harsh but its true. IE as its known (the blue E) is by far the most widely used browser out there, and as such the most targeted one.

Both googles Chrome and Mozillas Fire Fox are excellent alternatives. both of them can run plugins (extensions) these are little ‘apps’ that run in the browser making your life better in every way (that’s an exaggeration) I use Fire Fox personally because it loads faster on my machine but chrome is a great browser and i have very little negative to say about it.

in fire fox, if you click the orange FireFox button (top right) you can navigate your way to the ‘Addons’ menu. In chrome you can click the spanner (upper right) and navigate to extensions’ (then click get more), then when in there, i recommend you search for the following as a minimum.

WOT (web of trust): it puts a little traffic light by a link, telling you if it can be trusted and if you do end up on a very untrusted site it blocks the whole page and warns you before you continue. its very handy for a quick guide to a sites reputation.

Ghostery: this is a little tool that tells you what ‘advertisers’ are tracking you on a specific site and allows you to clock them from doing this. its not strictly speaking security related but in my mind its a thin old line.

Adblock Plus: it blocks ads, again, thin line.

LastPass: despite a recent security breach last pass is still the best way to manage passwords, its like a vault for them but its kept on a server so your information is not on your computer for people to steal. it also offers to generate very secure random passwords for websites and allows you to recall all your passwords with a single login if you change your computer. its pretty much an essential in my mind. (premium service is totally optional ad only £12, not that i know anyone who has needed it)

Well, that’s it, that’s my very brief any hopefully easy to follow security guide. its really the most basic things that i consider essential if you want a more secure PC then google for information of the following

Peerblock – Strategic IP blocker

UAC – its a windows option that most people turn off but if you research you will see that its actually pretty cleaver and the protection it offers out way the irritation

Alternative DNS – again, sort of not security related but if you can use Open DNS or Google DNS instead of your providers services you will have a more reliable internet experience as well as having built in protection from very high profile ‘spoofing’ sites. (i prefer Google DNS if your wondering)

the only other thing i can really recommend is that you avoid saving credit card details on any smaller sites and change all your passwords whenever you think there may even be a minor intrusion into any of your accounts.

I hope this was of help/interest to you.