istock online pokerFor successful players, poker can be an excellent way of making money, whether in live games or online. However, while online poker can be lucrative, it can also be dangerous for those who do not appreciate the risks of carrying out financial transactions online. There are several important things you should bear in mind in order to avoid becoming the subject of credit card fraud or even identify theft and to keep your funds safe. Here’s a list of 3 critical tips for a safer online poker game:

1. Use reputable sites

There are a considerable number of online poker sites available on the Internet, some of which are reputable, some of which are not. When looking for a poker site to play on, you need to consider which sites you can trust with your money. Aside from the most well-known online poker sites out there like PokerStars, Titan Poker, and Full Tilt Poker, there are a number of top-notch smaller sites out there like pokermira.com which are also popular for a reason; they pay out winnings immediately and have thus earned a good reputation. The financial integrity of reputable online poker sites like those is usually 100% guaranteed and your money should therefore be fairly safe in their hands. If you are apprehensive, even for a second, about making a deposit at an online poker site, be sure to look up and read some reviews before you proceed.

2. Install good quality antivirus software

Even though you might be playing on a highly reputable online poker site, that doesn’t mean that your PC is immune to viruses and hackers. If you have inadvertently downloaded a malicious virus – while browsing the Internet or downloading files, for example – it may have the capacity to ‘read’ your credit card details as you enter them. In a worst-case scenario, your money will be in serious jeopardy. Thus, it’s critical that you be sure to install good-quality virus protection software and exhibit a good dose of common sense when reading e-mails or downloading files. Assuming that you do, you should be able to play online poker safely.

3. Use a reputable payment processor

If, having found a trustworthy online poker site and installed a good antivirus program, you are still wary of giving out your financial information, there is a third step you can take to protect yourself. By using a trusted online payment processor, it won’t necessarily require you to submit your card details to your chosen poker site. Instead, your payment is processed via a virtual middleman, which then keeps your credit card details safe from third parties, minimizing the risks.

Much like online shopping, playing online poker for real money involves putting your financial information into the hands of strangers and thus exposing yourself to potential fraud or theft. Though one can never cover all the bases as well as one would hope, by playing on reputable sites, installing good antivirus software and using online payment processors, you should be able to avoid the main pitfalls of online financial transactions and have a carefree, secure online poker experience.

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