Video game consoles are planning on putting the cloud into extensive use in the upcoming console generation. Currently, 56 percent of U.S. households have a minimum of one console out of the current console generation, says Game Informer. These consoles, along with the upcoming generation, utilize the cloud for various features such as game saves, content delivery and game streaming. However, relying on a storage medium outside of the physical console has a number of risks you need to be aware of in order to mitigate potential problems. Otherwise, you’re going to wake up with your identity compromised, your game saves deleted and your online gaming reputation ripped asunder. Some best practices to implement for your video game console include securing your home network, keeping your account information safe and staying on top of console updates.

Secure Your Network

Best practices for your video game consoles starts with your home network. In most cases, you have your console connected to a router, either directly or wirelessly. Secure your router with a custom password, instead of the default admin user and pass combination that many routers come with. If you’re working off of a wireless Internet connection, use one of the encryption methods, such as WPA2 and set a strong password in place. Microsoft also recommends putting your router in a central location in your home so your neighbors or enterprising thieves are less able to pick up the Internet signal without crawling through your bushes. This cuts down on the likelihood that your home network becomes compromised, which is a nightmare for your computers and video game consoles. Identity theft is one of the dangers that comes from hacking, and LifeLock reports that some ways hackers use a stolen identity includes applying for jobs under your social security number, taking out loans and credit cards in your name, and having utilities and properties associated with your information.

Don’t Share Your Online Account Information

Both Xbox Live and the Playstation Network work off of user accounts to determine whether you’re a paying subscriber and what services you can access. If you share your account information with someone, not only does that represent a potential breach in the future, you also may end up with a compromised account that is shared across your entire friends’ network. Credit card information and other personal information is associated and stored in your account, making it a major issue if someone decides to start adding Microsoft points by the thousands to your account, says Stay Safe Online. Plus, it means someone can access your Netflix queue and alter your instant viewing selections.

Opportunistic Hackers

Video game consoles are found in millions of homes in the United States and beyond, making them tempting hacking targets. While the proprietary operating systems of the consoles do make them more difficult to hack, it’s not impossible. Also, some organizations with a large amount of resources, such as the U.S. government, are working on hacking video game consoles for forensics purposes, according to a contract award from the U.S Navy, noted. Keeping your consoles updated and secure makes it more difficult for hackers to use any established and known methods to break in. One issue occurs when you’re using a modded console that is running different operating systems, programs and other customizations. You open yourself up to security breaches since you’re fully responsible for security in this situation, requiring you to keep up to date with it at all times.