The online poker industry is an extremely lucrative industry and one that is increasingly being targeted by hackers and cyber criminals. The last couple of years has witnessed arise in cyber attacks against the online poker industry and specific malware have been developed to attack poker websites and online poker players.
If you’ve spent any time in online poker rooms, you’ve likely heard about a couple of high-profile attacks targeting players. It is no secret that a number of high profile poker players often have extremely large online poker balances in their accounts and this makes them a clear target for cyber criminals.
Brian Corlisse from PokerSites.com issued a warning to poker players and cautioned them to be aware of their online security. Corlisse stated that it was just a matter of time before a sophisticated malware was developed to infiltrate these poker websites and steal confidential information from players that will give these cyber criminals access to their financial details.
Charles Kolodgy, research vice president for Secure Products at IDC said that while it is not possible to stop hackers from developing malware it is possible for poker players across the globe to be more aware of their security and take precautions using common sense and the latest software to protect themselves from cyber crime.
While most online poker websites adopt the latest technology and encryption services, it also falls on the individual to do everything in their power to ensure they leave no doors open for malware and cyber attacks. The top five ways for them to protect themselves are listed below.
- Software Security
Poker players are advised to use a premium or a paid anti-virus and anti-malware program to ensure that their computers are not infiltrated by any malware. They should also ensure that they subscribe to the latest updates to ensure that they are always using the most advanced version of the software.
- Tough Passwords
A lot of poker players set passwords that are easy to remember. While this makes it easy to login, it also makes it easy for the account to be hacked. Players are advised to use a combination of characters, numerals and upper and lower case. Strong passwords are usually more than 8 characters and are a combination of all of the above.
- Public Wi-Fi
While it is cool to access public wifi from a Starbucks or the Library, it is an open network that leaves you vulnerable to hackers and their malicious software. It is always advisable to access your financial records or online poker accounts only from a secure network.
- Two-step authentication
A number of financial instructions now use a two-step authentication process to validate a user-sign in. While the process is a little more cumbersome, it definitely increases the security of the user. This means that a user not only has to enter their ID and password but now they will also have to enter a verification code that is sent to either their mobile phone or their mobile app.
Poker players are advised to follow all of the above to protect themselves from being a victim of malware and a cyber attack.