There's lots of fun to be had playing online. The thrill of multiplayer battles or just the feeling of being part of a wider community.

At GAME, we offer lots of options for online play, and we want you to feel safe and secure when doing so.

We've put together the following handy hints to help you make sure your time online is safe and secure - and stays fun as a result.

Choose a strong password

The obvious first step in making sure your account and your details are safe, a strong password is a must.

We recommend using at least 6 characters, using a combination of upper and lowercase letters AND numbers. Avoid obvious words or number combinations, including letters as they appear on your keyboard. Always try to vary your passwords from site to site, especially for any accounts that use your payment details, and never share your password with anyone.

Don't Share Too Much Information

Remember than any info you share about yourself online can become public, or could be passed on without your consent. Don't share any information or pictures that could be used to identify you or the people you know, and never share personal details like your full name or any contact details.

Be careful who you trust

While online communities are largely made up of great gamers like you, there are still some dishonest people out there, sometimes pretending to be someone they're not. Be extra careful with sharing with people who seem too friendly.

If you are invited to join a team, clan or some other group online, watch out for any who need your account login details for you to join - this info is not actually required and should not be shared. You should also be wary of anyone sharing in-game mods or other files, as programs that can hack or harm your computer can sometimes be hidden in the files they share.

Keep things online

You should be especially careful if anyone you've met online who wants to meet up in person. If you do decide to meet up, you should always choose to meet in a public place, tell someone where you're going and bring another friend along, too. If you are under 18, always get your parent or guardian’s permission and make sure they come with you.

Be careful about surprise emails

Unscrupulous types have ways of getting hold of email addresses and sending fake emails that appear to be from companies you trust, with the idea that they will access your account or even your computer.

Real companies will not ask for your login details the way these fake emails do. If you do receive a fake email, always report it to the company it is pretending to be. Never open any attachments.

Keep your hardware clean and secure

Whether you use it to play online, use forums or Instant Messaging, or indeed any other online activity, we recommend scanning your computer regularly using a virus scanner. As careful as you think you're being, you never know if a virus, spyware or other malicious program has made its way onto your system.

We also recommend installing anti-virus software on your smartphone or tablet if you use these regularly for online gaming or online communities.

Always log out

Always make sure you log out of any account you've used when you're finished. This is especially true if you use a shared or public computer or console, but should also be strictly followed if accessing your account on a mobile device which has a higher risk of being lost or stolen in a public place.