Playing multiplayer games... am I at risk?


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Does playing games such as America's Army, Battlefield 2, and running browser independent programs such as Steam leave me open for virus/malware attack? I would imagine anything involving network traffic is fair game, but part of me wonders if a browser is necessary for the malicious software to download and install.


macrumors 601
Nov 9, 2003
Dress Rosa
Yep, you're at risk. Back before SP2 just plugging in Windows XP into the internet would get you a virus in under 10 seconds. Of course that virus can't harm us under SP2. Nevertheless, having a good firewall would help that issue.


macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
It could open you up to virus attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in the communication protocols of the games themselves. I think the risk is minimal, but it certainly is a possibility.


Moderator emeritus
Oct 8, 2002
The Bamboo Forest
I've done my fair share of online gaming for ages... I've *never* had a virus on a Windows machine that I've controlled. As long as you take the normal precautions I'm sure you're fine. Firewall, virus scanner, keep up to date on updates...


macrumors 6502
May 29, 2006
Fredericksburg, VA
Ive used AVG before, great for a free scanner.

For a small fee though, NOD32 is the hands down BEST av program you can get. I absolutely swear by that program.


macrumors 68040
Original poster
miniConvert said:
I believe AVG can be had for free.

I must say, I also use online games on my computer, along with a plethera of other things including Internet Explorer, and have never contracted malware or a virus.
I don't see anything on there about being free... sounds like I'm being overly paranoid anyway. Windows firewall is on, and I *NEVER* use a browser while logged into windows. The only network traffic is games and teamspeak.