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PlayStation Network Safety

Protect your data and your mental health while gaming online!


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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Your PlayStation Network profile

When you are setting up a PlayStation Network profile you are required to enter your real name and details as well as a unique online ID which allows you to sign up to its service. When selecting your online ID, it's a good idea not to select an online ID that gives away any details about your real name or where you live. 

If you don't want to keep re-entering your personal details you have the option of linking your Facebook account and allowing PSN to pull details from there. PSN allows you to dictate how you are identified online, by your full name or online ID. These settings can be altered depending on what you prefer, for example you can reveal your real name to just your friends or friends of friends, everyone or no one.

PSN also enables you to let different people see different parts of your profile.

Blocking gamers on PSN

It is easy to block and unblock other gamers on PSN, just access your account, search through your friends list and select who you would like to block. Once you have blocked a user they are relegated to the Block List. A blocked player can no longer send you messages unless you take off them off the Block List.

Be sure to take a minute to block a gamer if their behaviour is offending or annoying you, it will make your gaming experience will be a lot more enjoyable

Reporting

If someone is behaving inappropriately online, sending abusive messages, making offensive comments etc, you can submit a report. Check out PlayStation Network's Terms of Service and send in a grief report if you feel that a player is violating these terms.

Reporting text, audio or pictures on PS4

To submit a grief report for text audio, or picture on the PS4 you need to select the Messages menu, choose the offensive content and press X to open the message. Hit the Options button on your controller and a menu will pop up on the right side of your screen, select Submit Grief Report and choose a report reason and submit.

Reporting a player's profile on PS4

If you want to report a particular player for their inappropriate behaviour you need to select the Friends list, locate the particular profile and press X. If you can't find the player that you are looking to block, select Find Player on PSN and search for their online ID. When you open their profile page select the More button (the one with three dots) and select Submit Grief Report. Now you can choose which aspect of their profile that you would like to report.

You can send in a report about a player's Real Name, their Profile Picture or their About Me section. Select the reason that you want to report this particular and click submit.

On the PS3 you can submit a report through the XcrossMediaBar (XMB) on the PS3 and through the Message App on the PS Vita

Security

As news of security breaches of PlayStation Network and Xbox Live circulate, it is understandable to be a little apprehensive about giving out personal details when setting up an account. There are a number of ways that you can ensure that your data is as safe as possible.

It can be a nuisance having a variety of different passwords for all your online accounts but it is highly recommended that you use a completely unique password for your PSN account. Use a mix of letters and numbers when you are creating your password, if you want to check how strong it is you can check here.

Learn more about protecting yourself online by using the two-step verification process

Account theft

Another way to ensure that your PSN is as secure as possible is to set up an entirely new email address for use with your account. There have been a number of hacks into Sony's network so it is better to be safe than sorry. Set up an email address exclusively for your account information so you won't be bothered with spam or phishing mails if any of your contact details are compromised.

If you are paranoid about giving out your bank details when sigining up to PSN you can always use pre-paid PlayStation Network Cards instead. You can purchase these cards online or in gaming stores.

These cards allow you to use credit to pay for your membership, this means that even if your card number is stolen it can only be used on the PlayStation Store and the amount that can be stolen is limited to amount of credit that is on the card, i.e €20, €50 etc. If you don't want the hassle of buying PSN cards constantly you can always use your usual credit card or debit but keep an eye on your account activity online.

Make sure that there is no strange activity, transactions with weird accounts!

Friends and followers

Signing up for a PSN account means you can add friends, follow other accounts, and other accounts can follow you. It's up to you how much of your personal information you share with friends and followers, and you can change these in your privacy settings. A person does not need a verified account to have followers.

When you become friends with someone, you will automatically start following them and see their activity. You can unfollow someone without removing them as a friend.

You can choose who can follow you and who can see your follow list by going into your settings, selecting account management, and then selecting privacy settings. Go through each item on the list and choose the setting you want.

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Published February 4th, 2015
Last updated October 19th, 2017
Tags online safety gaming playstation safer internet day
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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