In October, a large and comprehensive data breach affected interactive live streaming platform Twitch. A 125 GB torrent file, which contained the entirety of Twitch, was posted on the anonymous imageboard site 4chan. The poster evidently wanted to "to foster disruption and competition in the online video streaming space." While Twitch has been working to understand the extent of the situation and minimize damages, the leak revealed everything including the payout schemes for the platforms top streamers. This instance is not the first time gamers have been targeted, and it is unlikely to be the last.
Gamers and players often become victims when theyre playing for real money. Virtual poker rooms, for instance, offer players convenience and accessibility, but also expose players to a number of cybersecurity risks. Here are some ways poker players can stay secure online:
Choose a reliable site
Online casinos in the US are regulated on a state-by-state basis, which leaves players confused over which sites provide a safe online gambling environment. Unregulated sites dont adhere to responsible gaming, keeping players at the mercy of rogue operators. While work is being done to vet online casinos for security, fairness, payment options, and game variety, its still up to players to double-check their online casino of choice.
A real casino on the internet would have a license from a gambling authority like MGA or UKGC; they should have at least one license, although many reputable sites have two or three. The license ensures that the casino was tested, and offers a fair, honest experience for players. You can also read other player reviews, check out the terms and conditions, or even take advantage of a free trial period to get an idea of what the online casino is like.
Avoid chatting with strangers
One of the general rules of internet safety is not to add anyone you dont know. The internet has made it much easier to find people to play poker with, but not all of them have good intentions. While networking with other players is a great tip to help you win at poker, its best not to add people you dont know on online chat functions. There are other ways you can connect to fellow poker players, like joining a poker forum or befriending well-known players on social media. Only add people you already know, when youre sure its them.
You should also avoid keeping chat programs open while playing, as even the safest poker sites will be unable to protect you from malicious phishing attacks. Be on the lookout for suspicious links, messages, emails, or any other kind of communication from sites youre not familiar with.
Set up multiple layers of protection
If an online casino asks only for your name and password for financial transactions, odds are that its not a very safe site. Trusted online casinos will ask you to verify your identity, so dont be too surprised if they ask you for a copy of passport, drivers license, or other IDs. Using multi-factor authentication can disrupt over 99% of cyberattacks, so be sure to activate this as well; youll receive a separate code (most likely through SMS) to access your account. Another way to stay extra secure is to use complicated passwords. Cybercriminals can easily guess simple passwords and compromise your account.
For a strong and easy-to-remember password, try to include numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters into words. For example, The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog in password form can be tQBFj0aLD. Other tips are to keep your computer software and paid antivirus tools updated so they protect you from the latest risks. Avoid using your poker account on a public Wi-Fi network either; if possible, play using a VPN to keep your location and IP address harder to discover.
These extra-precautions may seem like a lot of work for some, but it can definitely keep your finances secure as you play poker online.