Keeping Your Computer Safe While Gambling Online
Online gambling is becoming more popular these days. People like playing at online casinos because of their accessibility– you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home just to play. Some online casinos require you to download their software, while others do not. Since you are playing through your computer, you might be wondering about the risks that online gambling has on your PC.
There are so many risks involved in not having safe online gambling. When it comes to your computer, it can get infected with viruses, worms, and malicious software. Viruses and worms are usually sent to you through email attachments or instant messaging. You can also get these when downloading a file or installing a software.
Viruses and worms
There are so many types of viruses and worms that can infect your computer. The Trojan horse, for instance, is capable of allowing intruders access to your files. Once the virus is in your computer, it does not reproduce but destroys your computer’s security. The Trojan horse usually seems like a harmless computer file or program. Therefore, you must be 100% sure of what the program or file is all about. At least known who the sender really is.
Worms are capable of multiplying on their own by using the flaws of your computer network and security. Because of their capability to multiply, they usually attack multi-user systems because it can infect a multitude of computers through the circulation of emails.
Malicious software, or malware, is a software that when installed gives control of your computer to its creator. Unfortunately, you are usually unaware that a malware has already infected your computer. Malware can do something as simple as changing the author’s name in a computer to something as damaging as stealing personal and proprietary information. It is very important for online casinos to have secure game servers. If the software in the game server becomes compromised, all computers that connect to it will be at risk as well. Any game that is played on a network connection has some level of risk to computer security. Because of possible vulnerabilities in your computer’s security, malicious users can gain remote access to your computer and may use it to attack other computers and install malicious software, viruses, and worms.
With all these risks, how can you keep your computer safe while gambling online? There are so many ways for you to be sure that your computer is secure from malicious attacks. Personal computer security is established if you do the following:
* Use anti-virus software and firewall
An anti-virus software scans the files in your computer and looks for possible signs of infection. Once a virus is identified, the software can either get rid of the file, keep the file in a virus vault, or destroy the virus. You must continuously update your anti-virus software because virus authors continuously release new viruses.
A firewall provides protection by shielding your computer or network from malicious intruders. You can use firewalls in blocking information from certain sites while allowing relevant information to go through. A firewall is very important, specially for users of cable or DSL modems.
* Regularly conduct anti-spyware scans Unknowingly, you could have infected your computer with a spyware or an adware while downloading a software. This spyware can affect your computer’s performance and give intruders access to your stored data. You must regularly perform anti-spyware scans on your computer to get rid of these unwanted files. Many anti-virus programs have spyware detection as well.
* Update your software
Keeping your computer software up to date also increases computer security. Software patches are updates that repair vulnerabilities in a program. Sometimes, instead of releasing a patch, software vendors release an upgraded version of the program. Once you receive an update about installing a patch, do it at once. Some software automatically notify you of updates through a mailing list. Take advantage of these automatic notifications. If this feature is not available, regularly check the vendor’s website for any update on the software program.
* Evaluate the software settings Most software use the default settings, which enable all functionality to be available. This type of setting increases the risk of intruders. Evaluate the settings of your software programs, specially the ones that connect to the Internet. Choose the highest level of security possible, which can give you the range of functionality that you need.
* Remove unused programs
Uninstall programs that you are no longer using. Aside from consuming memory space, these unused programs may have vulnerabilities that may allow an intruder into your computer.
* Use passwords and encryption
Passwords are security features that give additional protection to your computer. In choosing your password, make it as difficult to decipher as possible. To increase password strength, do not use passwords that are based on personal information as these can be easily guessed. Use different passwords in different systems. In creating a password, use both lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Some sites also offer an option to remember your password. As much as possible, do not use this because you are also not certain of the site’s security. Encrypting files increases your security because people who are unauthorized to access the files cannot view the data even if they were able to access it. Just remember that in using encryption, never forget your password or you may lose your data.
* Dispose of deleted files properly
Simply deleting a file does not completely erase it. Specially if the file contains confidential and personal information, you must erase it completely. Remove the file from the recycle bin and use a software program that completely erases files.
* Beware of using the administrator mode
Some online gambling sites might require you to use the administrator mode when playing. Beware that this poses more risks to your computer. If you use the administrator mode, you are risking complete control of your computer if an intruder manages to get into it. If you must use the administrator mode, make sure that the online casino is reputable.
There are so many ways to keep your computer safe while gambling online. The best thing to do is to play the game on the site and do web browsing after playing. This reduces the risk of getting into a malicious website.