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Is Itch.io safe?

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  • 4 min read

As a fan of indie games, you may have heard of Itch.io. This platform offers a platform for small game developers who can advertise their games on the platform.

The platform offers developers maximum autonomy regarding price settings, sales and page design. But is Itch.io safe to use? Many game developers keep asking the same question on various online forums.

You need to understand that Itch.io is just a publication website where game developers can host their games. This means they do not create or control the games uploaded on the platform.

Here we’ve discussed the safety of Itch.io as far as malware protection goes, analysed their privacy policy and also explained a few tips to stay protected on websites like Itch.io.

Also read: Is Archive.org safe?


Malware protection

But what if somebody uploads a malware-ridden game on the platform? Well, according to the website, they have automated virus-scanning technology. The platform also has a review system where the consumers review the games, and Itch.io manually verifies each report.

That being said, there are various malware accounts on the website. Users should exercise some discretion when downloading the game from Itch.io. You can also use the sandbox within the Itch.io app to test the game first before downloading.


Privacy policy of Itch.io

  • According to Itch.io’s privacy policy, the company collects information directly and automatically from the users. This information is then utilised for various purposes, such as providing the service, fulfilling user requests, and improving the user experience.
  • The service employs technologies like cookies and web beacons for automatic information collection, including usage details and device information. Third parties (for example, social media, analytics, and payment providers) may also use such technologies.
  • Personal information is not for sale but may be disclosed to third parties for business support, in mergers or asset transfers and as required by law. Users have choices regarding using their information, such as opting out of promotional emails.
  • Itch.io tracks your information, but you can control this through browser settings and manage email notification preferences. Accessing, correcting, or deleting personal information is facilitated through user accounts.
  • The platform also implements certain measures to secure personal information from unauthorised access, utilising encryption technology for payment transactions.

Analysis of privacy policy

Although the privacy policy mentions third-party services like social media, analytics companies, and payment options, but lacks specific details on how these entities handle user data. Users will have to visit the third-party privacy policy pages individually.

While the policy states that the company relies on user consent for certain data processing activities, it does not elaborate on how users can provide or withdraw consent.

The policy does not explicitly outline the company’s procedures and communication strategies in the event of a data breach.

Also read: Is Roms Games safe? 


Tips to protect yourself while downloading from such websites

Now that we have understood that you can only get malware if you download the game via a malicious uploader, here are some precautions that you can take to protect yourself:

  • If the game you downloaded from Itch.io is password-protected, it might contain malware. Only enter the password after you have confirmed the source.
  • Do not join the Discord or any other chat server of someone on Itch.io. It might be a scam, and the hackers will lure you into downloading malware.
  • If a game asks for system permissions, it is a clear case of malware. Always be cautious while providing permission to play the games.
  • Always thoroughly check the game reviews, ratings, and comments before downloading or buying the game on Itch.io.
  • Run the game in the sandbox before installing it on your device. If you have a Windows Pro version, you can use the Windows Sandbox feature.
  • Install the Itch.io PC client, a built-in sandbox mode where you can test the game first.

In conclusion, Itch.io is a safe platform that you can use to download games. However, ensure that you protect yourself and your device while downloading games.

Also read: Is Steamrip safe?

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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