As I have often said, anything popular with people in general is popular with scammers and so it is with Fortnite Battle Royale, the world’s most popular multi-player video game. Fortnite was originally available on iOS, PC, PlayStation4 and Xbox One. Recently an Android version was released, however it is not available on Google Play. Numerous scams perpetrated through emails, text messages and bogus websites are attempting to lure people into downloading malware infected versions of Fortnite. Knowing how to protect yourself from Fortnite based scams is imperative for players of this popular game.
Recently the software company Malwarebytes issued a report in which they found a large number of scam Fortnite ads and videos on YouTube that appear legitimate, but actually are merely vehicles for malware being installed on to the computers and phones of unsuspecting Fortnite players. Much of the malware is of the type to steal personal information from the victim that is then used for purposes of identity theft. Parents of young children who may use the same computer to play fortnite and other video games that the parents use for online banking and other sensitive financial transactions should be particularly wary.
Phishing emails and text messages that lure you into clicking on links, downloading attachments or providing information are a constant security threat to all of us. You should never click on any link, download any attachment or provide information in response to an email or a text message unless you have absolutely confirmed that it is legitimate. You also should be wary of YouTube videos and ads related to Fortnite as it is impossible to be sure that the video or ad is not a scam. For specific trustworthy information about Fortnite, you can always go to its official website
If you are interested in downloading the new Android version of the game, the only place to safely do this is a the Fortnite official website. After you have installed Fortnite on your phone or tablet it is important to deselect the “Third-party sources” option in your Android settings to protect your security. Failing to do so can result in your phone or tablet mor readily being hacked by cybercriminals. Also an earlier edition of Fortnite was found susceptible to cyberattacks so use the Fortnite Launcher 21 version of the game to avoid problems. In addition, there are rumors that Epic, the maker of Fornite suffered a data breach in March of 2018 that compromised logins and passwords so if you had an Epic Games account before March of 2018, it is a good idea to change your password. Epic Games suggests and I concur that you use dual factor authentication so that even if your password is compromised, you account cannot be accessed. Epic recommends the use of Google Authenticator for this purpose.
Finally, parents may wish to use a separate computer exclusively for their financial online activities such as banking, retail purchases or filing taxes. Don’t use the same computer as your children who may not be as careful in their computer use and may unwittingly download malware while searching for videos, music or games which are frequent carriers of malware.
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