Gaming Communities – Risks for Identity Theft in Casual Social Games

Casual social games are usually simple games that can be learned by the average person in a matter of minutes. These games, unlike typical arcade games, rely more on the number of members in a player’s gaming network than on actual playing ability. With the increasing interconnection of social networking sites, this poses quite a number of identity protection issues.

First, let’s talk about problems on the gamer’s end.

Many gamers tend to add people in their social network just to have a bigger gaming network to play with. Using Zynga’s Mafia Wars as an example, a lot of MySpace users indiscriminately add random people into their friends list just to be able to grow their Mafia.

This becomes an issue when a person stumbles upon a person who may have an unpleasant disposition. For example, that person can collect your personal information from your own facebook account and use it against you. There have been many reports about people whose pictures got grabbed from a social networking site and were used to perpetuate activities connected with libel or slander.

Second, let’s talk about problems on the game publisher’s end.

A person should only play casual games whose publishers have a proven or at least well-established reputation. Playing a casual game often entails granting permission to a third party to gain access to your personal information. This fact increases the risk that shady or underground companies may use your personal information for illegal activities.

Facebook, for example, has sued another social networking site for pulling up the personal information of millions of its users without expressly stating the planned deed on a legal document. This has allowed this particular site to create a site of their own, using other people’s personal information without their clear consent. The parent social networking site does its best to combat these problems, and affected individuals may not be able to do anything but sit and wait.

About the Author:
Sammi enjoys playing computer games, but for a more secure hobby she likes gardening. She uses a home soil tester to make sure her organic garden seeds get the nutrients they need.
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