For any online poker lover, especially cash game players, it is very crucial to be attentive against any online security attack. With cyber crime on the rise, it happens many times when hackers use malicious software to target poker players to claim their considerable bankrolls or harassing their reputation. Though most of the reputable poker sites always invest in tight security measures; but it is also the responsibility of the players to ensure all security measures to protect themselves.
Few tips to secure your online poker accounts are –
- Security suites, software updates – Don’t settle for a basic antivirus program you found for free or already bundled with your operating system. Always opt for a robust anti-malware security suite that offers protection against viruses, worms, Trojans, keyloggers (which can remotely see what you’re typing), spam etc. Online poker players should use such security suites — which includes a firewall — it will help prevent someone from getting onto your machine. Paid services are usually updated more often, so you’re always protected from the latest threats. Always download the latest free software updates be it for your operating system or any third-party program.
- Use strong passwords – Creating a good password for online poker account isn’t difficult. A strong password is at least seven or eight characters long, has a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and mixes upper and lower cases. It’s also a good idea to avoid real words or phrases. Since single word passwords are easier to break, you should opt for passwords which are easy to remember yet difficult to crack. Don’t reuse passwords and change them periodically, too.
- Opt for two-step authentication – A two-step authentication process serves as an extra security measure to protect your online poker accounts from being compromised. It confirms you — and only you — are granted access to your account. In this process, beside your standard username and password, you’ll also need a code that is sent usually via text message to your mobile phone. Before you gain access to the site or app, you’ll be prompted to enter that short, randomly-generated verification code. Some poker sites will send you a small gadget with a screen on it, such as the RSA SecurID products. This security key works the same way as a text message — displaying a randomly-generated, one-time-use code to type in along with your password.
- Resist public Wi-Fi hotspots – Whether it’s at your local coffee shop, in an airport or a hotel lobby, millions of mobile computer users take advantage of the free public Wi-Fi networks, or “hotspots.” But don’t use it for activities like to play poker online, banking or shopping. Some Wi-Fi networks can appear to be legitimate — like a wireless network, when in fact it is a fake & directs your information to their own computer. Don’t access/enter any sensitive information using Wi-Fi. Instead, you can download and use free VPN (virtual private network) software, like Hotspot Shield, to surf anonymously. Another option is to bring your own network and resist the free Wi-Fi altogether or you might turn your smartphone into a personal hotspot to get online.