When you're about to start playing casino games online, it's similar to waiting to ride a rollercoaster - you're so excited about the thrills, the ups and the downs, but the last thing you want to listen to is a long safety lecture about keeping your arms and legs inside the car at all times and yada yada yada yada. Right?
But that stuff is there for a reason - it'd be great to say no one's ever been hurt on a rollercoaster, but unfortunately that's just not true. The same goes for playing games on the internet - a lot of people have had their bank account details tricked out of them and end up with either a long wait to get their vital savings back, or sometimes never actually get them back at all.
So when you're logging on, do some basic checks, and you'll find that your time online is going to be far more relaxed when you're not constantly feeling paranoid about whether or not something's going to happen to your details, the files on your computer, or the computer itself. Here are several tips to make sure you're savvy enough to dodge the easy pitfalls of the online gambler:
1) Do not give out any personal details over the web. It doesn't matter who it is - unless it's on an internal SSL (secure socket layer) encrypted email, it's not worth the risk. Intercepted emails or hacked accounts are one of the easiest ways an online criminal can gain fast access to your account.
2) Make sure you have an anti-virus program installed. Don't fall for the age-old excuse that you've got no important data saved on your computer, or you run a Mac. Everyone has important data on their computer, and Mac viruses and keyloggers do exist. So make sure you've got some software - Mac users can get loads of Apps off the App Store which comes with every new Mac computer, and Windows users can download AVG for free to protect their computers.
3) Ensure that when you're playing, you're not downloading any new files that haven't been announced by the site you're playing on. Any reputable site will always inform you via the software you've already got installed that updates are available, or through the site itself. Unless one of these two conditions have been met, it's seriously unlikely the update you see before you is actually one produced by the company itself. Avoid at all costs.
4) Don't trust people you don't know. It doesn't matter if someone lends you chips, or is willing to give you a ton of pro tips on casino betting. You don't know them - for all you know, that's not their real name and they're not even from the country you think they are. Unless you're sitting next to them in real life, it's not worth the risk!
So stay smart, and stay careful, because the next account to be taken-over could be yours. It's like crossing the road - if you take the time to look left and right, you're in a far safer position to cross and keep on walking than those who streak across without a second thought.