It’s easy to get scammed on the Internet if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s also easy to get your computer hacked. And getting hacked is a nightmare as your private information can be stolen and used in many ways.
You might enjoy gambling, but you shouldn’t gamble when it comes to your computer’s security. When you’re considering a new casino to play at, you don’t always know if the casino is a scam. You could research the casino’s reputation, but you’re unlikely to find negative information for new casinos.
In previous articles I explained how to know if a casino is reputable. But that’s with respect to aspects like payout refusal, or the integrity of the games. To summarize, the game’s integrity largely depend on the game-provider. IGT WagerWorks casinos shows some casinos that use IGT games, which are one of the more established brands. As for payout refusal, that depends on the individual casino’s staff and policies. And you’ll need to carefully research them (including good and bad reviews).
This article considers the possibility of a rogue casino trying to hack your computer.
What Can Happen If You’re Hacked
The Internet has given scammers and hackers many ways to cheat you. Here are the typical results of being hacked:
Your private files can be encrypted, and the hackers will ask you to pay a fee for the decryption code. If you refuse to pay, you might lose access to critical files like photos, videos, documents, or anything else on your computer.
Your computer might have some “compromising” information about you. You might think the law protects you (as a deterrent), but there’s only a limit to that protection. Especially across international borders, there’s not much law enforcement can or will do.
If hackers get access to your logins and financial information, they can easily steal funds from you. And often you wont even know until later. If the funds are cryptocurrency, there’s no way of getting the funds back. And even if funds were stolen from your bank, reversing bank transactions isn’t so simple because it requires the cooperation between both banks.
Simple Ways To Protect Yourself
Good protection doesn’t need to be complicated.
Use Reputable Anti-Virus Software
Use one of the major brands. And make the small investment to buy the full version. Take the time to at least learn the basics of using the software.
But beware: most hacks come from fooling you. So anti-virus software is only a partial solution.
Look at it this way . . . you could have a sturdy house and front door. It might keep intruders out. But if you let them in the door, your strong front door is useless.
The main way a hacker gets access to your PC is you give them access. This is usually by installing software that isn’t what it seems to be.
Be Very Careful of What You Install
Whenever you install anything, upload the file to a free virus-scanning website like “Virus Total”. This will check the file to see if it’s a known virus.
Use Your Firewall
A computer firewall is software that determines what software can and cannot connect to the Internet. This is important because if software connects to the Internet, you have no idea what it’s sending. It could be your bank account’s login details. You could encrypt your account login details so it’s transmission is pointless, but that’s another point below.
Most anti-virus software comes with a firewall. At least choose software that includes a firewall. And set it to prompt you when new software attempts to connect to the internet. This way when new software wants to connect, forbid it from connecting if it doesn’t need to connect.
Don’t Install Software For Gambling
You shouldn’t need to install anything on your PC to play at an online casino. Almost every online casino allows you to bet in your Internet browser like Firefox or Chrome. If your casino requires you to install anything, be wary. It doesn’t mean the casino is trying to hack you. But installation of new programs is an unusual requirement.
The exception is installing Apps on your mobile device. In this case, make sure you’re installing the official app for your casino. If the casino is brand new, I suggest installing it only on a device that doesn’t hold private information, or connect to your home internet connection. Because if a hacked devices has access to your home network, then it’s much easier to hack other devices in your home.
Encrypt Important Files or Keep Them Offline
If my PC were hacked, there’s nothing the hackers would have that’s important. All my passwords are in an encrypted password manager. Without the master password that only I know, the password file is useless.
Any other private files are stored on external drives that are only connected to my PC when needed. Even my external drives are encrypted. There’s not much a hacker can do with encrypted data.
Free software allows you to backup all your data to external drives. It’s not complicated to do, and protects you both if hardware fails, or if you’re victim to a ransomware attack.
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