Computers, tablets, and smartphones aren’t the only devices that could get viruses. Even a top gaming console like the PS4 can!
So, how can a PS4 get a virus from a web browser?
Technically, any gadget with internet access is a potential candidate for infections. We’ll cover all the ways your console could get compromised and explain how to protect it.
Let’s get started!
How can a PS4 get a virus from a web browser?
PS4 runs on a custom operating system designed to prevent the installation of unauthorized software. However, hackers can inject viruses into it by exploiting existing security loopholes.
Still, they would need to write specific code to target your console. On top of that, users generally share less personal data on gaming consoles. Attackers stand to gain much more from targeting personal computers.
That makes PS4 viruses a relatively rare occurrence, but it’s not unheard of.
Most commonly, you can get infected by visiting harmful websites. The usual culprits are adult sites, torrent-sharing portals, and streaming platforms with pirated content.
Likewise, you’ll face similar risks by clicking random URLs during browsing. These may redirect you to malicious web pages containing viruses.
And that’s not all:
You could also get tricked by a trojan. This type of malware disguises itself as legitimate software. Still, it would have to be compatible with your PS4’s OS to be effective.
You may encounter trojans by:
- Opening suspicious email attachments
- Downloading infected files
- Visiting dangerous websites.
Additionally, you should also be careful on online gaming platforms. Some players create fake accounts with the intention of spreading malware.
What are the potential threats?
Here are some of the most common threats to look out for:
Hackers can break into your PS4 and steal sensitive data from it. Usually, they seek login credentials, credit card details, and similar information.
Malicious actors can also opt to impersonate you and commit fraudulent activities. They could steal your hard-earned money as well.
Viruses are notorious for destroying and deleting files on computer devices. The same can happen to your console.
So, take note if media files and personal documents suddenly start vanishing. Malicious software could be working behind your back to destroy your data.
Some of the data that viruses corrupt and delete includes system files. These are crucial for your gaming console to function normally.
Their removal may force your PS4 to slow down, freeze, or even shut down. Even worse, it may fail to boot up, forcing you to buy another.
Use in botnet attacks
Connecting an infected PS4 to a network may spread viruses to other devices. Similarly, hackers can use it as a part of a botnet to execute cyberattacks. Your device (“bot”) will be controlled by a “bot herder” who will seek to infect even more users.
How to protect your PS4 from viruses?
So, what can you do to secure your device? Here are some easy-to-follow recommendations:
- Keep your console updated to benefit from the latest Sony security patches. They’ll prevent hackers from seeking out vulnerabilities in your OS.
- Don’t click random links when browsing the web using your PS4. If you have to, ensure it’s on trusted platforms to avoid viruses.
- Be cautious about engaging with strangers and sharing files on online gaming forums. Malicious users target such platforms to prey on innocent gamers.
- Always keep your PlayStation network login credentials private. It’ll reduce the likelihood of exposing your details to cybercriminals.
- Only install apps from the official PlayStation store.
- Install a web shield to block harmful websites, such as Trend Micro Web Security. You can get started with a free trial on the PlayStation app store. While not an antivirus or firewall, it’ll still boost your defense.
- Disconnect your console from the internet whenever it’s not in use.
So, can your PS4 get a virus from a web browser? Although not as common as computer and phone malware, you can still get infected.
Most often, it happens when browsing compromised and harmful websites. Luckily, our security tips will keep you safe from trouble.
In general, keep your PS4 updated, get apps from the official store, and avoid clicking suspicious URLs. Above all, disconnect the console from the internet when it’s not in use.