Thanks to advances in online cloud gaming, the widespread availability of gaming devices, and rapid development in apps and gaming software, online gaming is more popular than ever before. Poker’s popularity has been driven in recent months by the biggest poker tournament in the world, the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP), which is coming to an end in Las Vegas. It’s been on the TV plenty and coupled with the rise of online gaming, it means online poker is as popular as ever. In fact, there are a number of online poker rooms, sites, and platforms that players can sign up with today.
However, you can’t just jump into online poker blindly. This is especially true if you want to play for and with cash. Today’s real money online poker rooms require sensitive personal and financial information during the sign up process. They also connect to your online bank account for faster transactions. And all this comes with the risk of exposing your information to hackers, or falling victim to cyber crime. If you want to have a fun experience playing online poker, here are some tips for keeping yourself safe.
Keep your device protected and updated
Nowadays, you can play online poker using your laptop, computer, phone, or tablet. Whichever you use, it’s important to ensure that your device has antivirus or anti-malware software and is always updated. Protective software helps prevent hackers from installing malicious programs into your system, which can allow them to steal your data. A clean and up-to-date device is also less likely to have problems with online latency, which helps when you have to make real-time decisions at a virtual poker table. Before you install an app or register on any legitimate poker site, make sure your device is protected and fully updated.
Get an IRS IP PIN
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) consistently ramps up its efforts to fight tax fraud, which is one way for hackers to profit off stealing data. To prevent such instances, the IRS now issues an identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN) for taxpayers. Once registered, you’ll need to give the IRS your IP PIN before they can start processing any tax-related requests. This means that even if hackers manage to get into your online poker account, they won’t be able to commit tax fraud using your details – as long as your IP PIN is kept a secret. In fact, an IP PIN is useful not just for poker rooms but also for practically any financial transactions done online.
Stick to GTO poker
Game Theory Optimal (GTO) poker simply means playing poker mathematically. It’s a strategy focused on the most basic ways in which you can maximize bad hands and ensure profit with good ones. This involves studying poker hand rankings and probabilities, and then applying these concepts during regular play. Sticking to GTO poker will help you stay calm and rational in online poker rooms, where the temptation to do risky moves and play above your head is always there. But rather than allowing the visuals and sounds drive you towards playing emotionally, you can stay rational and objective by actively applying GTO poker strategy. This also helps if you want to play several poker tables at once. While the aforementioned tips can keep you safe from hackers, sticking to GTO poker playing can help protect you from yourself.
Online poker can be a fun and potentially profitable way of spending time online. And if you can stick to these tips, you can stay safe while doing it.