Meta’s Quest 2 puts privacy at risk

Meta’s Quest 2 puts privacy at risk

Over the past Holidays, sales of the Quest 2 headset have increased and so did the downloads for Oculus (the virtual reality app by Meta, formerly Facebook). It’s easy to assume that this growth is linked to the purchase of Christmas gifts, which means that a lot of children probably have gotten a VR headset under the tree this year.

It’s all still fun and games until your child’s privacy is at risk. A range of studies conducted over the years questions the impact VR gaming can have on children’s physical and psychological development. However, privacy concerns should be added to that list. 

“As with every new technology, manufacturers want to jump on the train as soon as possible. This can result in major security oversights for some products (in this case, games and VR headsets). Hackers can easily take advantage of these vulnerabilities. And since children usually poorly understand the possible risks, they are the perfect targets for cybercriminals.”

-Daniel Markuson, cybersecurity expert at NordVPN. 

Because of modern advanced technology, poorly protected virtual reality games, and Facebook’s poor track record with user data leaks, it is easy for hackers to gain highly private information from players’ accounts. Which can then lead to identity theft, fraud, and plethora of other issues.

What can be done to keep children more private?

  • Review privacy policies: Privacy policies are lengthy, and we rarely ever read them. However, before giving a VR headset to your child, read the policy thoroughly to understand how the platforms they join store and use their data.
  • Teach kids to value privacy: Staying private is a very important skill for every child to learn. Recommend that they create an anonymous nickname if they play multiplayer games. Tell them not to share your address or other personal information.
  • Get a VPN service: To improve your privacy and cybersecurity, use a VPN while playing VR games Installing a VPN on your home router ensures that all of the devices connected to that network are protected by a secure encrypted tunnel. This would prevent malicious actors from intercepting it.

If you are contacted by emails you don’t know, you can always try tools to lookup email addresses.

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