If you can’t leave home or if your favorite poker rooms are closed, there are plenty of ways to keep playing poker. Online, dozens of poker sites are available to players all over the world.
In the absence of physical poker tables, virtual ones are taking their place. And there’s no doubt that online poker is getting more and popular. Despite this, the rules of the game remain the same. Whether you’re sitting at a real or virtual table, you need to follow the same poker rules to play the game. Being aware of the rules will help you implement sound poker strategies as you improve as a player.
That being said, rules and strategies are not the only things you need to survive online poker. While virtual poker rooms have introduced a new level of convenience and accessibility to the game, they also come with cybersecurity risks. Playing online – especially for real money – puts players in the radars of hackers and data thieves. And if you’re curious about playing at a virtual table, here are some tips for keeping your online information safe from prying eyes.
Take password hygiene seriously
Never use personal info when creating a password. Change your password for your online poker accounts at least monthly. Instead of actual words, use a variety of letters, symbols, numbers, and other characters in every password. These are just some of the key password hygiene habits that every virtual poker player needs to follow. While it’s not the only cyber security tactic you can utilize, observing password hygiene alone can make your personal and financial data significantly safer.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is a web security tool that encrypts and hides all your online traffic and activity from everyone else. Using a VPN can give you access to regional content outside your own, which is why they’re popular across the globe. For cybersecurity purposes, VPNs also ensure safe data encryption and transfer, and even disguises the whereabouts of its user. In short, they can make it significantly harder for your data to be stolen. This makes it especially useful for virtual poker players who need to input sensitive personal information as well as do financial transactions on the web.
Register for an IRS IP PIN
Hackers are a creative bunch. They can do much more than just withdraw money from your bank account. Armed with your social security number, hackers may also file a tax return in your name, or commit some other type of tax fraud. In order to prevent this, the Internal Revenue Service issues an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) to any legal citizen who requests it. If you get one, you need to give it to the IRS whenever you do tax returns, which allows them to verify that it’s really you. Should hackers manage to decrypt your data from bypassing a VPN or crack your password, they still won’t be able to commit tax fraud without your IRS IP PIN.
Before you install any poker apps or register for any sites, check their legal pages for safety certifications and licenses. See whether or not the links to these licensing/testing organizations are legitimate. If not, leave immediately. Stay away from both illegitimate and underground virtual poker rooms. In fact, it’s generally a good idea to always play within the bounds of the law. If your state doesn’t allow bank transfers involving gaming, there are many legitimate online poker rooms that accept cryptocurrency. By staying legal, you can ensure that your virtual poker experience is both safe and enjoyable.