The internet is a dangerous place, filled with the sort of unsavoury characters Donald Trump would likely refer to as ‘bad hombres’. Some of those hombres would like nothing more than to hack your accounts, feast on your spools and – most importantly – drain your casino balance, your bank balance and any other account they can get their hands on.
That’s not a revelation of course; the importance of maintaining your safety and protecting your data on the web has been drummed into us for years. We know not to use weak passwords. We know not to recycle passwords (even though we still do it). And most of us know not to respond to emails from long lost Nigerian princes promising us millions of dollars.
Yet, each year, people still get hacked with depressing predictability and regularity. While the effects of this are usually benign – a locked out account here; a reset password there – in more serious cases, the effects can be devastating.
Adhere to good practice
Picture the scene: you’ve spent months playing your way around the web in SnG’s, building up your bankroll and eking out a modest means as you grind it out on the poker circuit. Then, one day you log into your playing account to discover that it’s gone. Everything you spent the last 12 months working for, spirited away by someone lurking behind a VPN and seven proxies.
And it could all have been so preventable if you’d simply adhered to good practice when it comes to internet safety. While it’s impossible to shield yourself from all attack vectors – you’re reliant on the website you use not being compromised after all – there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk and reduce the likelihood of you being pwned should the worst happen.
If you aren’t already, this is what you should be doing to protect yourself when playing online:
- Use a strong password
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Do not recycle passwords
- Do not keep funds in your account that you cannot afford to lose
If all else fails and a site you are registered with reports a breach, check Have I Been Pwned to ensure that your login details haven’t been published.
If you’re going to gamble online – or to perform any sort of activity online that involves sending or receiving cash – it’s impossible to eliminate your exposure altogether. Nevertheless, with a little common sense, it’s possible to mitigate your risk of being hacked, leaving the only risk the one you face at the tables.