Virtual Reality Safety: The Security Risks Associated with AR, VR, and the Metaverse

Rising in popularity with every passing day, more and more people are trying out AR, VR, and the Metaverse for themselves. As popular as these worlds and devices are, sometimes there are potential risks that go along with using them.

We’ve laid out everything you need to know about the metaverse and augmented and virtual reality safety, such as privacy concerns, ways to protect yourself by using a VPN, using brand-name devices only, and accessing the metaverse with a separate Wi-Fi connection to safeguard your other devices.

Table of Contents:

  1. What Are Some Virtual Reality Risks to be Aware of While Online?
  2. What are the Privacy Risks Regarding Virtual Reality?
  3. What Are Some Augmented Reality Security Risks to be Aware of?
  4. What Are Some Metaverse Security Risks to be Aware of?
  5. How do You Use the Metaverse, Augmented, and Virtual Reality in Cyber Security Compliant Ways?

What Are Some Virtual Reality Risks to be Aware of While Online?

Virtual Reality

According to GetCyberSafe, there are several virtual reality safety issues while accessing these devices, such as being aware of the risks of bootleg devices and privacy risks with VR cameras and microphones picking up personal data and sending it across the network.

Why Should Bootleg Devices be Avoided When it Comes to VR?

Although bootleg devices often come at a lower price than their name-brand counterparts, they will have access to data that may be considered sensitive; it is always a good idea to shop from reputable companies.

Sometimes the off-brand device you buy from unknown third parties can contain malware that’s able to corrupt other devices connected to your network. Or, in their worst form, they may contain spyware that can infiltrate and pull data from your devices.

The bootleg device may simply be a dud and not work as intended in a best-case scenario. These devices don’t typically adhere to a standard set of cybersecurity regulations and are best avoided.

What are the Privacy Risks Regarding Virtual Reality?

Unlike other types of consoles, VR headsets require you to offer sensitive information for them to work correctly, such as voice detection, a gyroscope to determine your body’s movements, and cameras.

The difference between VR cameras and other features, as compared to other consoles, is the fact that they must be activated at all times in order for the functionality of the VR game to work. So, adding on top of the usual data registered when you create a profile to play, all of this other information could potentially be exploited by a cyber-criminal.

The best way to counter this is to use a VPN. It protects you by giving you an extra layer of protection. We will discuss these further in this article.

What Are Some Augmented Reality Security Risks to be Aware of?

According to Educause, one of the significant risks of augmented reality corresponds to collaboration, especially in a school or college setting regarding sensitive files, such as medical cases.

There is a possibility of that data becoming corrupted or compromised if the augmented device does not have proper security features, such as blocks to stop a second person from using the student’s device.

Read more about AR and VR security in the education sector here.

What Are Some Metaverse Security Risks to be Aware of?

One of the most significant risks of the Metaverse is its access to sensitive data through a link-up, such as a VR headset. Data such as this can fall into the wrong hands and fuel blackmailing or other tactics to harm the user.

Another risk to look out for, according to TechRepublic, is the ease with which intellectual property can be stolen in the Metaverse, along with cryptocurrency issues such as scammers searching for users asking for help regarding minting on NFT Discord channels and phishing attacks that target cryptocurrency wallets.

Read more about staying safe in the Metaverse here. And here is another article on how younger people can also maintain safe practices while using VR technology.

How Do You Use the Metaverse, Augmented, and Virtual Reality in Cyber Security Compliant Ways?

There are several ways to increase your metaverse, augmented, and virtual reality safety, such as using separate Wi-Fi for your VR and AR devices, using a VPN, and all other security features available to you when you sign up with an account.

How Does Moving Your VR and AR Devices to Their Own Wi-Fi Network Help Keep Your Data Safe?

When all of your devices are on the same network, particular cybercriminals, if they can infiltrate one device, can then jump to the next device on the network, using the network as a launchpad to infect the connected devices one by one. Of course, the more devices on the network, the easier it is for them to do this.

Specific smart devices, such as the VR headset, may not be as secure as your other devices, such as a phone with a passcode, making VR headsets more vulnerable to attacks and infiltrations.

The best way to counter this is to connect your VR headset to a separate network or a separate Wi-Fi network so that there’s a barrier between your multi-use Wi-Fi (that your guests may also use) and the Wi-Fi used with your VR headset. This will ensure that your other devices remain safe even in the unlikely case your VR headset is compromised.

How Does Using a VPN Help Keep Your Data Safe?

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect yourself while online using VR, AR, and accessing the Metaverse. In addition, you can configure your router to have your VPN block potential cyber-attacks.

VPNs also offer many other valuable features, such as allowing you to watch geo-restricted content, protect you from any government surveillance, and give your gaming experience a boost with faster speeds and less ping.


Protecting yourself while using these cutting-edge technologies doesn’t have to be hard. Utilizing a separate network, using brand-name devices, and a VPN to protect your identity and location will help keep you and your devices safe. While we wait on regulatory bodies to incorporate more virtual reality safety features and mitigate virtual reality risks, these tips will help.


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