Keeping Yourself Secure When Playing Cash Games Online
The global video game market is now worth a reported $86.29 billion annually, and there are reportedly more than 2.5 billion gamers in the world. Those are some incredible stats we’re sure you’ll agree. Unfortunately, though, with this incredible boom comes the rise of less-than-honest gaming sites looking to get access to your financial details. Combine this with the ever-increasing number of hackers with their inventive methods of acquiring your information, and the idea of sharing your credit card details on an online cash game site is more than a little unnerving.
However, all is not lost. If online poker or video slots are your thing, and you have no other option but to share those financial details with your provider, then you can do one or two things to protect yourself and your money. Follow our tips below and close the door on those would-be digital thieves.
Do they need your info?
First off, you need to ask the question: Does this website need my financial information? Of course, if you’re playing a deposit and withdrawal-based game such as online poker or even casino games like roulette, then it’s pretty much a requisite. However, most reputable gaming sites and apps will offer you several options to make a deposit. Some of which require you to share no details with the provider themselves.
These options include payment processors such as Stripe or PayPal, who will manage the financial transaction outside the hosting site. That means that although you must use a credit card or debit card to load money into your gaming account, the information you provide does not store on the gaming website. When making a deposit, the payment processor will open, and you enter your details there.
If a site offers the option to pay via NETELLER, PayPal, Stripe or any other of the major payment processors, then use it. Even if there’s a slightly higher charge for doing so, the security measures offered by these processors are the tightest online. Processors such as those mentioned above rarely work with sites that have known issues concerning their users’ finances, so this is a good option for protecting your money. However, some may slip through the cracks, and that’s why our next tip is even more important.
As with any industry, reputation is key in the world of online gaming. Now, as you know, there are new games and apps coming out at a phenomenal rate. But unless they come from a well-known developer, we’d advise you to steer clear of them until there are solid reviews from the gaming community available online. Ideally, though, you’ll want to go with an established name that already has its reputation made.
Let’s take a look at the world of online poker. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry right now, and so, there are plenty of reputable poker platforms out there available. Do your homework and check out the brands’ history for payouts and customer satisfaction. Then take a look at their payment options. Take 888poker, for example. The online poker giant is one of the best-known in the industry and has a stellar record with players and several solid payment options. In short, it’s a safe bet (poker pun intended).
You can say the same for online casino providers and even bingo games. Any gaming platform that requires deposits on your part should have a good reputation stretching back at least a year if not more. That makes it easy to do that research we mentioned earlier and pick out any recurring issues in negative feedback.
Read the Small Print
No one reads the terms and conditions when it’s so easy to click “ok.” After all, we only want to get started at the poker table, right? But when it comes to cash games and anything that involves your personal finances, you should take a look. Now, we’re not for a moment suggesting that you read every single word, but a quick scan should allow you to spot any nasty little surprises.
Look out for withdrawal fees and even deposit fees. Some gaming providers will charge fees, but these are usually minimal. Check to see if the fee increases with your winnings or the amount you want to deposit. You should also pay close attention to the fees for the payment processor. These are set fees, and if you notice that they look unusually high, then go ahead and contact the payment processor directly. They’ll tell you immediately if the fees are accurate.
You should also look out for fees that you may incur if you want to close your account. Many gaming platforms will not charge you for this but keep an eye out for it in case. If it’s in the terms and conditions, then we’re going to guess there may be a few other hidden fees in there somewhere, too. These hidden fees that aren’t clearly stated on the payment page are a big red flag that the site may be one that you can’t trust entirely. Remember, a site you can trust will have all their fees stated on their payments page or in their terms and conditions.
Our most important tip doesn’t concern the security of your money, but we think it’s worth bearing in mind. For most gamers, gaming is a fun experience with some incredible benefits. They don’t consider it another income stream.
With this in mind, we think it’s always an excellent idea to stick to a budget when playing online cash games. Only deposit the amount that you can afford to spend for the month and never add more. A limit like this not only helps you keep your cash under control, but it’s also one of the best ways to come out ahead in the long run.
So, if you’re thinking about getting started with online poker, casino games or any cash game for that matter, keep these tips in mind. Pay close attention to the brand’s reputation, their payment options and of course, the small print. But above all else, learn to manage your money correctly and stick to that gaming budget.