Game On! Protecting Yourself As You Play

For those who have watched Lavasoft's product lineup develop over the past few years, this news will come as no great surprise: we have a new product coming soon to meet the needs of online gamers and Internet media and entertainment aficionados struggling to find the right security solutions to keep them safe while they spend long periods of time connected to the Internet. This time, Lavasoft's developers are working on a new version of Ad-Aware - the Ad-Aware Game Edition. The upcoming Game Edition addresses the age-old struggle in online gaming and virtual worlds of how to stay protected, without the irritating interruptions or breaks in protection that other security software programs cause.

Ad-Aware Game Edition - which will hit the market following the next major Ad-Aware version release in the end of August 2009 - includes the powerful, real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware protection of Ad-Aware Pro, with special features and functionality designed to deliver uninterrupted protection for high-risk online gamers and entertainment fans. The Game Edition includes a “Do Not Disturb Mode” to provide protection that never interferes with your virtual world, as well as ultimate resource efficiency to ensure that your machine's resources are freed up for your gaming experience. We think that gamers will also appreciate the new look of the user interface, including custom skins, as well as the opportunity for community interaction through MyLavasoft (also coming in August) and free games with every purchase.

But, all of you gamers out there don't need to wait until September to begin powering up on your online safety. Malware Labs at Lavasoft has compiled a list of the top things you need to know to stay safe in online games and virtual worlds. Keep reading, below, to brush up on these security essentials.

  1. Play only on legitimate and trustworthy game servers. Cutting corners by using free games provided by rogue servers can result in low game quality, support problems, and a higher prevalence of theft and fraud.
  2. Use complicated, “non-dictionary” passwords. Compose passwords that are at least 10 characters long, and are made up of a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
  3. Use common sense when you're approached for information or given a suspect call to action. Exercise caution with e-mail and in-game messages, and never give out your account information.
  4. Use real-time anti-malware protection and scan your hard drive frequently. Stay tuned for Ad-Aware Game Edition, which will provide real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, designed specifically with gamers in mind!
  5. Update the definitions file of all security software constantly. This will ensure the threat database is up-to-date and that the program is prepared to catch the latest threats as they are placed into detection.
  6. Use Hosts file protection to help avoid redirections to malicious servers.
  7. Keep your operating system updated with the latest security patches, along with any other potentially high-target third party software, like Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  8. Install and run applications that support rootkit protection. Many computer users like to run a variety of different scanners to help find infections. Still, use caution when choosing new programs in order to make sure to use reliable, respected security software
  9. Keep your main web browser updated with the latest patches. Browser vulnerabilities may be used by criminals on specific gaming sites and forums to download MMORPG malware.

Stay tuned for the August issue of Lavasoft News to get an inside look at the new and improved features of the next versions of Ad-Aware Pro, Plus and Free, which debut on August 25, 2009.

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BY THE NUMBERS
Just how big is the online gaming industry? One Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game alone, World of Warcraft, has over 11 million active users. That's more users than the entire population of Sweden - the home of Lavasoft's headquarters.

Source: Wikipedia.org
TIPS & TACTICS
Last month, we told you about the security highlights of the new Google Chrome browser. This month, we have the scoop on a Lavasoft partnership with Google that will give you the option to add an extra layer of protection to your online experience. Read more.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Online gaming has become a massive industry over the last decade. With so many users and so much money involved, malware writers have the perfect opportunity to cash in on online games and virtual worlds.”

- Albin Bodahl, malware analyst at Lavasoft Malware Labs
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