While some people prefer to hone their poker skills on real live tables, there are still those who prefer the anonymity and convenience of online poker rooms. And who can blame them? You don’t need to dress up or spend for drinks when you’re playing in an online casino- you can just lounge around in your pajamas with a red solo cup in hand, and you’ll still be able to play.
Unfortunately, the convenience offered by online poker comes with a big drawback. While playing online, you will be constantly questioning the legitimacy of the site that you’re playing in. Will this site fold in the near future? Will I be able to cash out my money and winnings? Sadly, there were far too many cases of shady online poker rooms disappearing into thin air and leaving with players’ money to make these fears legitimate.
Here are some ways to prevent yourself from becoming a victim:
1. Only play on trusted, legitimate, sites with proven track records.
It might be tempting to try out that new online poker room you saw that offers free credits upon sign up, but as much as possible, don’t even try to. Most of the cases wherein players never got to cash out their money were from shady sites that popped out of nowhere. There are lots of established online poker rooms out there, with spotless track records that span for years; some of the most prominent online poker rooms on the Internet today include Party Poker, bwin Poker, and 888 Poker. When in doubt about the legitimacy of a site, just head on over to Google and search for reviews and player feedback.
2. Avoid using public WiFi.
As much as possible, use your own connection whenever you play (e.g. use your smartphone’s cellular connectivity and turn it into a personal hotspot, buy an Internet USB stick . Public WiFi hotspots seem very convenient to use, but remember, this is your financial data that you’re dealing with. It’s very easy to interpret and read the information that you’re sending out when you’re on a public network. An attacker can see all traffic, including the passwords and other sensitive data that you send over the system. But if public WiFi is the only internet option for you, then make sure that you get a VPN (Virtual Private Network) software for your device that will encrypt your traffic and will let you surf anonymously.
3. Be wary of DOS attacks.
Another good reason why you should use a VPN is that your machine can be at risk for a DOS (Denial of Service) attack if an attacker manages to get hold of your IP address. And the risk of this happening increases if you’re on a public network.
4. Install a comprehensive anti-virus; keep software updated.
Don’t just settle for the anti-virus that comes bundled with your operating system. Instead, find and download something that will offer more comprehensive security to your computer. It’s also a good idea to have all the software and apps that are installed on your computer regularly updated to keep your security risk down to a minimum.