Dangers of Online Gaming

Dianna Dinh, Staff

Many people all around the world rely on technology. Almost everyone uses computers to surf the web, do their school work, and many more. People also use technology for entertainment such as watching videos on media apps and playing online games. Many people may believe that technology is just to make life easier, however, many people don’t know what people are capable of doing while they are on the internet.

People can easily hack into systems, find information about you without you knowing, and many more. In some serious cases, some people on the internet may even “swat” you, which is when someone hacks into the system, use your IP Address and number, and reports a fake severe incident to the police which will cause authorities to bring the swat team into it. For example, a famous streamer on an app called “Twitch” was swatted while he was on a plane when an anonymous hacker reported that the streamer was going to bomb the plane. This led the streamer to nearly get arrested and the plane to be landed immediately as false news spread virally on “ABC News”. Eventually, it was announced that the streamer was innocent and Ice Poseidon was just “swatted”. On some more serious notes, there was another swatting incident that led to murder. An innocent man named Andrew Finch, 28, was playing a game of Call of Duty. As he was playing with a few other players online, one of his team members got mad at him for accidentally doing a team kill. The team member got infuriated and decided to “prank” him which ended up going too far. The team member contacted a hacker that he was friends with and hacked Finch’s IP Address and personal information without Finch knowing. As Finch was getting hacked, the team member’s friend used Finch’s information to contact authorities saying that he was going to hold his family hostage. Eventually, the swat team pulled up to Finch’s house and immediately told Finch to stop where he was, but Finch was confused on what was going on and didn’t obey the authorities which caused the authorities to fire at Finch claiming that he moved his move his hand to reach for a weapon, but Finch was just attempting to scratching his back. Finch was then pronounced dead at the scene and authorities raided his house to find that Finch was innocent and this was just a case of swatting. The swatter and the team member who contacted the hacker was eventually arrested for homicide, the policeman that shot fire was fired, and the news also informed that the swatter had a criminal record of making more fake crimes such as reporting a fake bomb threat in 2015.

However, swatting isn’t the only common case on the internet. There are many more situations where people can dox you. Doxing is when someone finds a persons information about them and leaks it all over the internet which can be extremely dangerous. People on the internet are capable of hacking into your internet to find your IP Address, address, phone number, social media, and many more. It is a serious case because in more severe situations, when someone finds your address, it may get in the hands of the wrong person. Many ways to prevent getting doxed is by putting all your social media on private, turning off the computer if there is someone hinting that they are trying to harm you, and reporting abuse to the admins/creators. If someone online has already doxed you or is threatening you, it is wise to contact authorities or report the incident to an adult if you’re underage.