Real risks in virtual world | india | Hindustan Times
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Real risks in virtual world

india Updated: Sep 07, 2006 13:14 IST

Online computer gamers who spend countless hours slaying monsters and battling other virtual foes are now facing more worldly threats, including online predators and scammers who want to swipe their game accounts.

‘City of Heroes’ maker NCsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced a programme to warn its customers about real-world risks in the virtual universe of its games. “The single biggest mistake people make is, they meet people online, and once they start communicating, they slip up,” said Robert Garriott, chief executive of NCsoft North America.

 Smart box
Lurking dangers

Though true names of players are disguised, players can probe for personal information

Never give out credit card information, never offer personal information to other players, never give passwords to friends

If password is lent, your account can be stolen or pilfered of virtual goods

Though its ‘PlaySmart’ initiative is still in the early phase, it suggests the following: Parents should play the games with their children and be aware of the potential harms caused by voice chat and text-message exchanges.

Ron Teixeira, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, called NCsoft’s program a good first step.

“Parents may think games are games,” Teixeira said. “They think nothing bad can happen, but the reality is that children virtually are somewhere else and interacting with people that may not be good.”