Robust and effective financial management should be prevalent in all areas of our daily lives. However, when playing online gaming, it plays a key role. Understanding how important it is to manage your finances properly should encompass a substantial section when building your knowledge about online gaming. Despite what it might sound like on the surface, keeping your finances secure entails a lot more than simply keeping your financial information away from prying eyes.
Like any reputable business, reviews and customer opinion are the lifeblood and fuel of success. Although disgruntled customers leave some reviews, they are often not a true reflection of a company’s quality. If you spend enough time browsing social media and checking enough reliable reviews and sources, you should come to a reasonable conclusion about the positives and negatives of the provider you’re researching and whether anybody has highlighted issues with security or their payment methods.
In saturated industries, understanding what makes a good business stand out among a sea of competition is vital. The ability to discern these various nuances leads to an informed decision. In the case of casino gaming, picking apart what people have to say about the payment methods on offer, the website’s security and the service’s reputation are some of the key variables to consider. Exploring sweepstakes casino reviews gives you a clearer image of what sites are more popular with certain players, and which may be lower quality.
Low quality doesn’t just mean a lack of game selection or poor customer service; it can also mean gaming providers who have been unable to keep customer information secure, leading to breaches and sensitive information ending up in the wrong hands. Data breaches can be costly for companies that store large amounts of financial information and can cause significant stress for people, knowing that their information is in the hands of cybercriminals.
Although a past breach might not be a sign that the company is no longer secure, with some arguing that they’ll be even more secure following the breach now that their flaws have been highlighted, it will cause some potential customers to consider looking elsewhere. It is something to consider before inputting your sensitive information.
Pick a strong username and password
One of the most common ways that hackers gain illicit access to valuable personal data is through people using the same, easy-to-guess passwords across several different platforms. Cybersecurity experts often recommend using many passwords and unique combinations of random numbers, letters and symbols when your financial information is concerned. For most of us, online banking is the most important password and username to keep secure. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a password that is a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols rather than using an easily guessable word. This is the number one way that people fall victim to this complex and invasive crime.
When inputting your credit card or bank information onto any website, ensuring you mix up a random selection of usernames and passwords and keeping them stored safely provides you with a solid layer of protection. Gaming companies are under no illusions about just how essential it is to keep banking information tightly under wraps. If you follow these simple instructions, you will put another dimension of security between you and any criminals looking to access your financial data.
Consider using a password manager
After you have collated a strong selection of passwords, you can store them securely using password management software. Web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome have this add-on installed. iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones all have similar password management tools, which are heavily encrypted and continually updated with premium levels of security.
Some people prefer to write down their passwords, but if this information gets into the wrong hands, it can cause serious problems. An encrypted password management tool is often the best piece of software to use. It keeps everything away from cybercriminals and gives you tips about which passwords are strong and solid and which could be susceptible to a breach.
Keeping your finances secure online is a multi-faceted approach; a password manager is a great tool to add to your arsenal. However, you must combine it with an array of strong usernames and passwords and ensure that you keep up to date with the latest updates to ensure that your financial information remains as secure as possible.
Some people opt to change passwords on a consistent basis, such as every year or every six months. Whichever strategy works best for you, and one that you have found works in the past, is usually a solid choice. Staying up to date with how the latest scams are operating is important too so that you’re able to stay one step ahead of those criminals looking to obtain your financial information.
Add an extra layer of security
Additional layers of security can take many forms. The most popular one is using a two-factor authentication (2FA) system, which means you will either have to enter a code from an app to authenticate your login or you will need to respond to a text or e-mail. 2FA is a revolutionary piece of financial security technology. It means that even if a hacker has access to your password, as long as they don’t have any access to your e-mail, phone number or authentication app, they still won’t be able to view your financial details.
In addition to using 2FA, other methods that cybersecurity experts encourage using to keep your personal details as safe as possible when online gaming include using VPNs and anti-virus software.
VPNs help keep your browsing activity out of the watchful eye of hackers, making it harder for them to detect patterns in your usage, while anti-virus software is able to flag any malicious links and is constantly updated on the latest techniques cybercriminals use. You could use just one of these options or opt for all three. We’d recommend using them all. Building a digital fortress around your financial information means it’ll be very difficult for anybody to access your funds.
Share information sparingly
If you have added each section as we have gone along, you’ll be building a very strong and virtually impenetrable way of keeping your financial information under lock and key. Despite all these measures, hackers will still attempt to breach any boundaries you put in their way.
Always guard yourself, and avoid disclosing your financial information to anybody apart from people you need to, such as staff at the bank. If you must speak to your bank, they will never ask you for your entire password or specific characters. Unfortunately, many people, particularly elderly people, fall victim to scams when people call them and pretend to be from the bank, getting them to share their screens, provide information and even send money to them.
It is better to be vigilant and safe than sorry. If you believe you are speaking to somebody who isn’t from the bank, put the phone down immediately and call them through their official channels by looking at their website. Likewise, if you’re using a gaming website and somebody calls you stating they are a company representative and ask you to disclose sensitive financial information, put the phone down and contact the company directly.
Avoid pirated games
Pirated games are the dark underbelly of the gaming market. Criminals often use them as a means to generate profit, so they do not have the same levels of security you’d anticipate from a reputable gaming service. Some games even have measures built in that allow cybercriminals to phish your data, often without your knowledge, or install malware to gain access to your computer or mobile phone without your knowledge. Your best bet is to avoid them completely and conduct your gaming through official channels.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
While it might seem like a lifesaver, public Wi-Fi can be a tunnel into your device for those looking to take advantage. Public Wi-Fi is rarely password protected, which means anybody who accesses the network will be able to see the traffic that is being transmitted. Although most people will use public Wi-Fi for the right reasons, it only takes one or two bad agents to disrupt the flow and potentially put your information at risk. Despite the convenience, if you use online banking apps or payment methods like PayPal, it is best to stick to password-protected Wi-Fi networks, so you don’t have to worry about cybercriminals finding a route into your device.
Update your software
As with anti-virus or password management tools, staying updated with any software updates is crucial. Software updates often include bug fixes, where developers and technicians have identified potential flaws in the system and fixed them accordingly.
If you do not update your software regularly, you could be vulnerable to a breach. Staying on top of these or turning on automatic software updates is another facet of a strong data protection. By incorporating several of the components we discussed today, you will give yourself the best chance of avoiding any financial mishaps online and staying secure as you navigate the web and play your favorite games.
Robert J. Smith is still early into his career as tech reporter but has already had his work published in many major publications including JoyStiq and Android Authority. In regards to academics, Robert earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Robert has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.