We read that accounts are being "hacked" all the time, from celebrity Twitter accounts to customer data in major stores. What does it really mean?
The word hack brings to mind a dark room full of computer geeks and empty Red Bull cans typing and trying to steal your credit card number. Reality is different from that. Most user accounts are easily hacked. The best news is that all of their tricks are preventable.
The purpose of this article is to explain what it means to have a safe bankroll for gaming and outline the steps you can take now to prevent it from being used illegally in the first place.
Defining a “safe bankroll”
For the purposes of this article, when we use the word secure, we mean an account protected against intrusion by someone who has not obtained access authorization.
We're not talking about security issues related to the fraudulent practices of gambling sites that maliciously scam their customers - protecting yourself from these predators is another matter altogether.
When we say secure, we mean that you and only you can access your bankroll. If you focus on protecting your online gambling account from fraudulent access, you have protected yourself against by far the greatest threat to your chip stack.
The Value of Good Passwords
If you think of your online account as a safe, your password is the key that unlocks the lock. Because locks are the most vulnerable part of any safe, they are what security hackers (or, in our case, hackers) manipulate to gain access to your account. Your password is the most powerful tool against intrusions into your account.
Most often, hackers gain access to your account through information leaks from other attacks. It works like this - a hacker somewhere steals all of Walmart.com's username and password information. This data is made available online to shady characters who then attempt to use the same password on all your accounts in order to steal from you.
How to Create a Good Password for your Game Accounts
So, what does a good password look like?
First of all, a good password for your online gaming account is absolutely unique. This means that each account you have online must have its own unique password.
It's harder for people to crack or try to figure out your password if it's long - I recommend at least 12 characters. It doesn't matter much if you use the same long and unique password on another account and it gets hacked or stolen, but it prevents easy cracking or decryption.
Avoid using real names of people, places or things. Using familiar names (people, places, things, etc.) is a bad idea because obviously if something exists, someone else can know or guess it.
Finally, make life difficult for password crackers by mixing up letters, numbers, symbols (if any) and capitals. The more the different parts of your password are mixed up, the more difficult it becomes for a hacker to reproduce or understand it.
Beware of Malware
Malware is anything that has been added to your computer's memory without you putting it there, usually with the intention of stealing from you or simply damaging your computer for fun. Malware can be attached to otherwise innocent downloads. Not all malware is completely sneaky — some marketing services use a special form of malware called adware to track your activity and show you ads for the products they sell.
Many people who claim their accounts have been hacked are only disregarding their own security. They either reused passwords, used similar passwords on multiple accounts, or gave their account details to someone posing as an authority figure. Real "hacking", which involves decrypting and breaking code by brute force, is pretty much a Hollywood invention.
But that's good news for those of us who are concerned about the security of our online accounts. As long as you avoid malware, add a keylogger to your computer, or accidentally give your personal information to a stranger, your security or your money is unlikely to be compromised.
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