How facial recognition minimizes fraud and identity theft in online gaming
By Ricardo Amper, CEO, Incode Technologies
During the last year alone there were 3.24 billion gamers. It’s also predicted that the online gaming market in 2025 will have 1.227,6 million users.
All the major consoles produced by PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo have online gaming features. Another reason for this growth is the growing popularity and accessibility of mobile gaming apps. The availability of mobile gaming applications has caused a rise in the number of online gamers, especially among the younger generations.
In today’s day and age, young people between the ages of 3 and 15 are regularly playing online games. Since last recorded, there has been approximate growth of 4.6 million online gamers from 2019 to 2022. However, the increase in younger gamers has led to more instances of cybercrime in gaming circles, especially when it comes to fraud and identity theft.
With 36 percent of parents admitting that they are worried that their child is potentially leaving their finances open to fraud, online gaming platforms need to try and protect gamers whilst online playing.
But why are fraudsters targeting younger gamers specifically?
The easiest target
For most of the popular video and mobile games played today, having online game modes is a necessity for the game to be popular. From Fortnite to Angry Birds, virtually every single online game you can think of will have an online game mode. While the online features may offer players different experiences, they are all geared towards one thing: sales. Online games today are engineered to make the player believe that they need to spend more to enhance their playing experience.
The same can be said across almost any game today. Last year alone, more than 62 percent of Apple Store Revenue was generated via in-game purchases. The most popular games, according to Games industry were often targeted at young people. Today, young gamers have greater access to authorize payments easier than ever before. They can do so simply by knowing their parents’ email addresses and passwords.
But with 25 percent of parents lacking knowledge on how to protect their children online whilst gaming, parents need assistance. Could online gaming platforms be doing more to protect young gamers?
Don’t leave it all up to the parents and children alone
No matter what parents do to protect their children whilst gaming, there is still a strong possibility they will come across scammers. To scammers, online gaming is a treasure trove of opportunity.
Due to the drastic increase in gaming amongst young people, scammers are targeting this specific demographic to defraud players and their parents of their money or identities. According to research by Lloyds Bank, the two most common types of fraud experienced by young people whilst online gaming are identity theft (67 percent) and hacking (61 percent).
Though it may seem impossible to minimize the virtual interaction between younger gamers and scammers, platforms and companies can substantially minimize the chances of interaction. Implementing a two-step authentication with the use of digital identity verification would force players to identify themselves before they start gaming online. Whether that be via facial recognition, passive liveness detection or computer vision the online gaming platform as a result will be able to monitor and authorize those using their gaming platform. As well as this, they will also require players to identify themselves both to the servers that the games are played on and the gamers.
We need to make online gaming safer for children. It’s as simple as that
As developments in technology continue, online gaming experiences will continue to be enhanced, further increasing the number of gamers and potential victims. This has in turn enhanced player experiences whilst playing online and increased the number of online players.
With gamers as young as three playing online, it’s imperative, that online platforms do all they can to protect young people and their parents. Online platforms should use biometric templates that are mathematical representations of an individual face. These biometric templates can be generated on the online platform’s server as an encrypted string of characteristics under half a kilobyte in size. This would be near impossible to recreate, since it is encrypted data, which is near impossible to reverse engineer.
Should online gaming platforms both on consoles and mobile phones implement identity verification that leverages secure and privacy-centric facial recognition, it will reduce online fraud and identity theft. It will also simplify the verification and on-boarding process. The need for specific biometric verification associated with the account holder will substantially minimize the possibility of online fraud taking place.
Ultimately one of the priorities for all gaming platforms that have online features should be to keep their players safe, while they are online. If implemented properly, identity verification and authentication for both payments and identifying players will help keep online gamers safe.
About the author
Ricardo has deep expertise in sales, marketing, production and leveraging cutting-edge technology to solve traditional business problems. In 2015, Ricardo founded Incode in San Francisco.
DISCLAIMER: Biometric Update’s Industry Insights are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Biometric Update.