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Gamers take the games they play seriously.  So seriously, in fact, that they’re not above resorting to dirty tricks to score a win.

Recently, social media has been abuzz with reports of a messaging app bug on Sony’s PlayStation devices.  Specifically, there’s a bug in both the Android and iOS messaging apps that allow malicious gamers to send a poisoned character via group chat that will brick your gaming console.

If you’re in the middle of a tense death match, you lose by default, because you’re booted from the system entirely.

Here’s an example of what we’re seeing on Reddit:

“There is a new glitch that basically bricks your console and forces you to factory reset it.  Even deleting the message from the mobile app doesn’t work.  It happened to me during Rainbow Six: Siege.  A player from the other team used a dummy account to send the message and crashed my entire team.  We all have had to factory reset.  Only one of our guys wasn’t affected, and he has his messages private.”

This note holds the key to the workaround until Sony makes some type of official response.  If you haven’t yet had the dubious honor of being the recipient of this poisoned message, set your messages to private immediately.

Here’s how you do that:

  • Go to “Settings” and select “Account Management, Privacy Settings”
  • Enter your password
  • Select “Messages” and change it to either “Friends Only” or “No One,” then exit out of the subsystem. You’re all set from there.

If you’d rather change your message settings from your PC and a web browser, you can do that too, though the process is a bit different.

Here’s how:

  • From your PC, surf your way to the PSN Privacy Settings Management Page
  • Log in with your PS4 account
  • Select “Personal Information/Messages”
  • Select “Edit,” then change the setting to either “Friends Only” or “No One.” Save and exit.