India’s Blossoming Online Gaming Market Threatened by Privacy Concerns, Industry Surveys Reveal

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Online Gaming Market

Data privacy is essential for a safe gaming scene. With many attractive offshore options for online gaming, desi consumers need to be vigilant and better educated about the dangers of cybercrime and data breaches. Yet, government providers could also do much better, market experts remind. Online Gaming Market-

The Risks of Unverified Entertainment Platforms and Player Accounts- Online Gaming Market

Online and mobile gaming has been growing in leaps and bounds in the past few years. In the 2019-2020 biennial, the desi domestic gaming market has recorded an average 40% annual growth, outpacing television, social media and even OTT markets.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that media outlets have recently paid more attention to the dangers of cyberattacks and breaches of personal gamer data. During the pandemic years, consumers began sharing more of their personal details, time and money with casual and real-money gaming apps.

While gaming has become an almost indispensable part of our daily lives – playing a fantasy cricket league with one’s colleagues or buying Andhra Pradesh lottery online tickets – there are a number of perils of trusting unverified gaming platforms. The success of mobile gaming has almost inevitably attracted the interest of hackers and other cybercrime rings.

A gaming industry report by Akamai Technologies has shown that billions of cyberattacks occur every year. The online safety of desi gamers is already a sensitive issue for most leading entertainment platforms that charge money for gaming sessions. They are trying hard to stand above illegitimate sites. But when cheats and frauds enter the scene, players have a hard time differentiating and protecting themselves.

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The survey shows that the main dangers are related to one’s critical information shared online. Personal credentials, IDs and financial certificates might be exposed when buying in-game features like coins, skins, weapons or other improvements to one’s gaming experience. Bank card details are the prime example of this but whole identities may be put at risk by simply downloading an unverified app or other malware.

Hackers may be able to extract such personal data, steal people’s online credentials and use them for other illicit purposes in turn. The Norton 2021 report on Gaming and Cybercrime claims that as much as three quarters of Indian gamers have been affected by cyberattacks at least once. Most have had financial losses as the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) reminds that the average desi player spends Rs 230 per month on gaming.

Getting an Upper Hand on Game Hackers and Offshore Sites

Enabling a safe playing environment is crucial if Indian gaming is to maintain growth prospects and impose its presence on the global market. Personal and financial data privacy is already a cornerstone of some of the leading foreign online gaming platforms and lottery sites. In the eyes of many desi consumers they have an edge on Indian operators, if only for the strict licensing procedures and requirements.

Policymakers and public authorities would do well to initiate a meaningful debate on regulation for real-money gaming. And State-run games like government lotteries should finalize their transition to online operations to optimize their performance and rival offshore gaming sites.

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Raising awareness about fraud and privacy issues is also a responsibility of Indian authorities. Recognition and prevention efforts must be made to protect young and old among the gaming community. Entertainment platforms need to be vetted, recognized and duly labeled as well.

The desi gaming industry has already proposed some rules and data privacy guidelines, although much has been left upon their self-regulation efforts. Multi-factor authentication and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policies go both ways to close the circle of safety. But gaming businesses feel it’s not enough, especially if they get no support from government agencies. Despite that, gaming experts remain confident that proper control and monitoring procedures are not hard to install and must not be postponed indefinitely.

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