Minecraft is a popular sandbox game that has recently reached 180 million monthly active players. While you can play it alone, it’s also possible to explore blocky worlds with other players.
Still, like most online games, Minecraft poses a few risks that you need to keep in mind. Although fun, public servers and user-created mods offer plenty of space for malware to hide.
But can you get a virus from joining a Minecraft server? Let’s find out!
Can you get a virus from joining a Minecraft server?
No, you can’t get a virus just by joining a Minecraft server. However, there are other actions in the game that may infect your computer.
Although moderators generally look out for malicious behavior, there’s still room for viruses or other types of malware to spread. They can’t control what every individual player is doing.
That’s why it’s important to know how to stay safe and keep your guard up when playing.
What are the potential threats?
Downloadable content and links from other players may be dangerous.
Still, neither of these threats can automatically get onto your PC. Both require the user to either download or activate them to work.
Let’s take a better look at what kind of damage they can do:
There are various custom creations you can use to breathe life into Minecraft. This includes mods, skins, seeds, textures, and more.
Regardless of what you want to add, you’ll have to download and install it manually. Unfortunately, hackers may bundle malware with those files.
You’ll have to be extra careful when installing additional content. You should avoid downloading files from untrusted websites to keep your PC safe from viruses.
Links from other players
Once you join a new Minecraft server, you’re immediately thrown among other players. Usually, they’re legit gamers who just want to have fun.
However, hackers may sometimes hide in the crowd. Server chats are a great place for them to share malicious links, hoping that someone will click.
Players can report to Mojang Studios any spam and abuse of the server chat feature. Keep in mind that all reports need to be reviewed first. That leaves plenty of time for others to accidentally click on the links before the moderators intervene.
So, you should never click on any shared links, even if you believe they’re valid. Hackers sometimes come up with URLs that look very similar to real ones.
How to stay safe?
Here are the key steps to protect yourself when playing Minecraft online:
- Stick to the legit version of the game.
- Only download mods from trusted sites, such as Spigot and Bukkit.
- Scan everything you download.
- Keep your antivirus and OS updated.
- Enable your firewall.
- Never click on links other players send.
- Never share your sensitive information with others.
So, can you get a virus from joining a Minecraft server? No, not really. But you’re not entirely safe when playing on public servers either. The biggest threats are downloadable content and links in chat.
Still, if you follow our guidelines, you’ll stay protected while gaming. You can avoid most of the trouble just by sticking to trustworthy mods and ignoring links from other players.
Have fun and stay safe!