The internet is a great way to connect with people and play games like online bingo. Unfortunately, it’s also home to some dodgy fellows (called cybercriminals) who are interested in stealing your information and your money. But don’t worry, you don’t need the internet equivalent of pepper spray to stay safe online.
Yes, the internet can sometimes be a dicey place, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying all it has to offer, and it especially shouldn’t stop you from playing bingo!
Here are some general practices to help you stay safe.
No matter how charming someone is online, or how sad their story is, you should always think twice about sharing your personal deets with them. The same thing goes for companies. Make sure you check them out before you go handing out information that they could use — unless you like spam emails and chatting with Nigerian “princes”.
It’s also important to keep your information private on social media. Sure, that cutie on Instagram may seem sweet, but you shouldn’t leave your number on their posts for everyone to see (for the record, that’s not only risky, but creepy too). Same goes for Twitter, Facebook, and every other social media site. If you aren’t careful, the information that you share publicly in these spaces might pop up in Google searches!
Most web browsers are designed to stop internet snoopers from watching your online activities, but these can be turned off. That pop up saying Windows Defender is under attack might look legit, but if any window asks you to disable security features, just close it and leave the site. Walking away (just like you did with your horrid ex) is often the best thing to do.
If you’re at home sharing super cute photos of your new puppy on Instagram, you probably don’t have to worry too much about how safe your internet is. But if you use your neighbour’s “free Wi-Fi”? Or you log onto Facebook at that quaint internet café on the corner? You should probably think twice. If these internet connections aren’t secure, someone could be quietly taking note of all your usernames and passwords.
We get it. Most of us don’t have photographic memories, which is why we sometimes get a bit lazy when it comes to passwords. But commonly-used passwords are a disaster waiting to happen!
Whether it’s a sneaky sibling, ex, or a cybercriminal, if someone gets your login for your email, social media, or online bingo site, the first thing they’ll do is try to guess your password. Commonly used passwords such as “qwerty”, “123456789”, or heaven forbid, “password”, are absolute no-nos! You should also avoid common personal details, like your birthday, or the name of your pet.
If you want a password that’s stronger than the quadruple espresso you have after a banger of a night out, you should make one that has many characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and some special characters for good measure.
I had a “friend” that absolutely loved everything cat related. She had a cat wallpaper, a cat screensaver, and her mouse icon was even a cat (not sure if there’s some sort of irony there). But little did she know that the innocent-looking mouse icon was actually a piece of dodgy software infecting every corner of her brand new computer!
But how did she get the cute but not-so-nice kitty mouse icon?
She saw an ad and clicked on it. She couldn’t resist. It was a cat thing, after all!
When you’re surfing the web, you should be aware that not every link that looks real is safe. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly skilled at creating legitimate-looking sites, windows, and yes, ads, to try and gain access to your devices.
The tips we’ve shared above will protect you when you’re using most web services, but what can I do if I want to play bingo games online? Here are five tips just for bingo sites.
As we’ve already mentioned, just because a site looks trustworthy doesn’t mean that it is. A site could be a fly-by-night operation run by cybercriminals looking to steal your credit card info, so you need to check if they’re a legit business.
Making sure the site has the right licencing with your country’s online gambling regulator is the first step. Then you need to look for player feedback. Blogs, forums, and social media sites can be great places to check for reviews. There are review sites as well, but these can have fake, paid-for reviews, so always compare them against other sites.
When it comes to money, it’s always important to read the fine print. With online bingo sites, these financial Ts & Cs might outline general regulations, or could even affect how you withdraw your funds or make deposits.
And before you click that sign-up button, you should also know how the site is using your personal data. Some may sell parts of your information to third parties. (Remember Facebook and Cambridge Analytica?)
At the end of the day, be sure to always read the bottom line so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Verify that you can make deposits through protected channels
Some older folk might remember the time when the idea of sharing your credit card info online scared your lucky pants off! Today, using your credit card online is like brushing your teeth. Most of us don’t really think about it, we just do it.
Still, it’s important to find out which payment channels your favourite bingo site supports. While most of them will take credit card payments through secure connections, you should also see if they support e-wallets like PayPal. These e-wallet services usually have extra ways to protect their users which makes them a little bit safer.
You could also use a virtual credit card to better protect yourself. Virtual credit cards can be used once-off, or if you prefer, only active for a limited time. This means that if a site gets hacked and your virtual card details get stolen, you’re at way less risk than if you’d used a regular credit card.
Your personal and financial data isn’t the only important thing. You are too! As fun as gambling can be, if you ever start losing sleep, getting grumpy, or telling your mates you’re busy because of gambling, you may want to chat with someone about it.
To make sure you enjoy a safe and healthy gambling experience, check to see if the site offers support services for players. This could be directly through their support staff, or other organisations and services, like GamCare or BeGambleAware.
Also, check if the site has features to help you keep your own behaviour in check. Most trustworthy sites have features like budget and time limit controls so that you can manage the amount of money and time you spend on the site.
Now that you know what to look for and what to avoid, which site should you take a look at?
Lucky Pants Bingo is a UK-based site that’s serious about bingo. We offer an experience that is safe and secure, so you can relax and enjoy yourself every time you play.
How do you know we’re serious? We don’t just have one licence, but two! (We’re licenced by both the Gambling Commission and The Alderney Gambling Control Commission.)
To ensure players have easy and safe payment channels, we support a number of different credit cards, as well as e-wallet and virtual card services for players who prefer these options. All our connections are SSL-secured, so no-one can take a peek at your information!
And if at any point you’re concerned about your hobby, you can reach out to our staff, GamCare, GAMSTOP, or BeGambleAware for advice and information on healthy gaming.
Now that you’re feeling safe and secure, it’s time for some fun! Not only are we one of the best online bingo services, we also have hundreds of other games for you to enjoy, including slots, scratch cards, and slingo.
Lucky Pants Bingo / 11 September 2021