Cybersecurity experts are urging Scottish gamers to “dodge sinister cyber-attacks” by taking heed of tactical hints and tips.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) is raising awareness of cyber-attacks by providing players with a new gaming cyber security guide so that gamers of all ages can secure their online gaming accounts from potential cyber criminals.

According to new research from Kaspersky lab, the global games audience is estimated to be between 2.2 and 2.6 billion and is a clear target for cybercriminals looking to gain access to personal data.

Despite how active gamers are online, 56% admit they don’t take any additional security precautions when using public networks which present a high security risk.

Gerry Grant, chief ethical hacker with Curious Frank, a division of the SBRC said: “Providing your real birth name, address and birth date may not be necessary for your gaming experience, especially if you are under the age of 18.

“Make sure to use a strong passphrase of at least 12 characters that you have not used on any other website or game.

“Don’t download or open attachments in unexpected emails or click links from other gamers offering discounts, ‘hidden’ content or success to a new game. These links may let attackers see your information.”

A recent study by payment solutions company ACI Worldwide and gaming research firm, Newzoo, illustrates that as many as one in five gamers have been a victim of payment fraud while using popular games.

Grant added:“Verify that the sender of the email is genuine and only contact customer support through the verified website or telephone number.

“You can bookmark the genuine website and use that bookmark rather than the link in any email to log into your account.

“Ensure you double-check website addresses and branding on websites; if you are suspicious, find the intended website via a search engine, or bookmark in your browser.

“Make sure you only buy in-game currency from trusted and authorised websites – if you are making online, in-game purchases, ask your card provider about verification services for online transactions.

“Or use payment methods like Paypal which offer extra security measures and purchasing protection”.

Curious Frank offers a range of services to assist organisations with their cyber security, including assessment and development of cyber security capabilities, crisis response and identification of threats and vulnerabilities in systems.

SBRC was established to create a secure environment where business can trade securely, regardless of size and sector.

It works closely with partners, members and stakeholders to help make Scotland a more resilient and secure place to live and work.