What are the Hidden Privacy and Security Dangers of Virtual Reality

| Updated on February 13, 2024

Everyone who uses the Internet or plays computer games has heard about virtual reality at least once. But what does it represent, and what opportunities it hides in itself? 

Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial world that does not exist in nature, in which a person can be fully “immersed” not only as an observer but also as a participant. Virtual reality is created similarly to computer simulation. To influence the human senses, special equipment is used. It allows you to cut yourself off from the physical world and create a convincing picture and the desired sensations.

Virtual reality is penetrating more and more deeply into our real life but is still often associated exclusively with games. Accordingly, what are the essential privacy and security issues of Virtual Reality, and how Virtual reality works?

How Virtual Reality Works

The basis of virtual reality is to create the illusion of human presence in a virtual environment. A person “goes” into it, identifies with the character, and “lives” in this game. Whether or not this system provides complete immersion of a person in a virtual environment also largely depends on the display system.

At the same time, many types of work with three-dimensional objects may not require the “immersion” of a person in the world of this object. For example, when designing parts of a complex configuration or modeling game characters, it is usually sufficient to be able to manipulate the three-dimensional image of the constructed object on the screen of the computer monitor.

The illusion of presence in the virtual world can be greatly enhanced by creating a three-dimensional stereoscopic image of that world. Virtual reality systems create a stereoscopic three-dimensional image by separating the images intended for the left and right eyes. As a result, thanks to ocular vision a person has a feeling of three-dimensionality of the surrounding space, he can determine the relative position of objects and also estimate the distances to them.

Security Issues and Threats in Virtual Reality

Over the last decade, a new experimental technology “virtual reality” (VR) has been actively introduced into psychological research. By now its effectiveness has been confirmed by the data of medicine, neuropsychology, cognitive and social psychology. Virtual reality technology equips experimental psychology with methods that have a number of differences from traditional laboratory instruments.

Virtual reality projects are somewhat different from those in augmented reality because virtual reality is limited to closed environments and does not involve interaction with the real physical world. Nevertheless, virtual reality headsets cover the user’s entire field of view, which could prove dangerous if attackers gain control of the device: their manipulation of content could cause the user to feel dizzy or nauseous.

Tips on How to Stay Safe When Using Virtual Reality

It is recommended that you start your VR immersion experience with short sessions of a few minutes, gradually increasing the immersion time and longer tutorials. The maximum allowable length of time to use the headset in a classroom at school is 15 minutes.

Don’t Disclose Too Much Personal Information

Don’t share much personal information. You can create an account with your email, but you shouldn’t provide credit card information unless you’re buying something.

Read the Privacy Policy

It’s easy to miss important points by reading a long privacy policy and terms of use. But it is recommended to find out how companies provide services on virtual reality platforms that store data and what they do with it. Do they transfer data to third parties? What data do they collect and what do they share?

Use a VPN

Using a VPN is one way to keep your identity and data private online. If you need to disclose sensitive information, using a VPN can protect it from being compromised. By using advanced encryption and a modified IP address, you can keep your identity and data private. The use of VPNs will expand as virtual and augmented reality evolves. Try a free VPN to keep your data safe.

Update the Firmware

It’s important to update the firmware of virtual reality headsets and wearable augmented reality devices promptly. In addition to adding new features and improving existing ones, updates help address security vulnerabilities.

Use a Comprehensive Antivirus Solution

The best way to stay safe online is to use proactive cybersecurity solutions. For example, Kaspersky Total Security provides reliable protection against a variety of online threats such as viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware, phishing, and other ever-present online security threats.


Despite the already impressive achievements in virtual reality modeling, it is still too early to talk about full reproduction of the real world: full 3D virtual reality is not yet possible. Even the most advanced VR devices, providing the transfer of sounds and images, actions, and tactile sensations, can not yet provide a full effect of immersion in the VR, which would fully replicate reality. But progress does not stand still, every year there are new technologies and improved devices for VR which improve VR security and privacy, including virtual reality for smartphones, and who knows, maybe very soon there will be a virtual world that is indistinguishable from the real one.

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