How To Stay Safe When Playing Online Bingo
Playing bingo is one of the most exciting things you can do in the world—as every bingo player knows. Unfortunately, it can be all too easy to get wrapped up in the fun of things—from bingo bonuses to jackpots to the chat room. With everything that’s going on, sometimes we forget just how dangerous it can be online. To give you peace of mind, BingoPort has put together a new guide on how to stay safe when playing online bingo.
Am I Safe Online?
We’ve all known someone—be it a family member, friend or acquaintance—who has come across issues online. These stories usually involve someone having their account hacked, their computer wiped by a virus or even their bank account details compromised. Unfortunately, despite how incredible the internet can be, it can also be a very dangerous place for the unaware. Some people tend to forget that they need to be just as cautious online as they are in real life.
For those of you who want to make sure that they stay safe online, we’ve compiled some top safety tips below!
Be careful with personal information
When you meet a new person for the first time or you encounter a stranger, do you tell them all of your personal details? Do you let them know what your phone number is or your date of birth? “No!”, you’re shouting to us. You’d be right—nowadays, people can do a lot with just a little bit of your personal information.
If they know your date of birth or your pet’s name, then they might have an opening into your passwords and from there, your accounts. We’re not just talking about your bingo account, we’re talking about your bank account and every other secure account. You never know what someone else might do with your personal information, so always be careful. With this in mind, you should avoid sharing these types of details in the bingo chat room:
- Name - that’s what your user name is for!
- Phone number
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Details about your family
In all, just try to be sensible. You can easily get to know your bingo roomies without giving them your personal information. As we’ve mentioned, bingo chat rooms are a fun place filled with bingo chat games and gossip—just keep an eye out in case someone starts asking you suspicious or prying questions.
Do Your Research
What’s the most important thing to do when choosing a new bingo site to join? Research. It’s just that simple. There are hundreds of bingo sites out there nowadays—using every concept under the sun, from sexy shoes to hunky men. While this might sound exciting and thrilling, this much choice can unfortunately confuse bingo newcomers. After all, how do you know which ones are legal and which ones are trying to scam you?
It can be all too easy to sign up and make a deposit at a dodgy site without realising it. Before you know it, they’ll have taken most of your money. With this in mind, you should try to do careful research before joining a bingo site. Firstly, check that the bingo site is licensed—you can typically find this information at the bottom of the bingo site. This ensures that the games on the site are both fair and secure. You might also find it useful to check whether the contact details given by the bingo site are genuine—you want to make sure that you can get in touch with customer service if something goes wrong.
Of course, if you’re really not sure whether you can trust a site or not, you might be better off sticking to BingoPort’s recommended and award-winning bingo sites. We only list licensed bingo sites renowned for their great treatment of bingo players. Trust BingoPort—we’d never lead you astray!
Security is Key
It’s not just about picking a site that has been licensed, it’s also about being aware of security. To start, you should check the security of the site in question beyond just mere licensing. Does the address bar at the top of the site have a green lock symbol or ‘https’? If so, this means that your connection is secure, so hackers can’t get your payment information. Of course, it’s not just about the site’s security—you have to keep an eye on your own.
Start by making sure that your password is both secure and difficult to guess. If your current bingo password is ‘password123’, then you definitely need a new one! Additionally, you should make sure you’re not using the same password for all of the bingo site accounts and general accounts you have. This means that if you’re unfortunate enough to have one of your accounts hacked, not all of them will have been compromised. If you’re worried about security when you’re making deposits, just ensure that you’re using secure methods like PayPal.
Tying in with our personal information tips, you should also be aware that depending on how open you are about your personal life, some people might be able to guess your password. For example, if you’re always talking about your dog that’s called Bingo or Lucky, someone might assume that you’ll have used it as your password. Your password won’t be difficult to crack if you’re telling every roomie under the sun your every personal detail. Furthermore, if you’re using a shared computer you should make sure you never click ‘remember me’.
Control Your Funds
Another issue with signing up to a scam bingo site is that they tend to let new players win multiple times when they first sign up. This is a ploy to lure you in and make you stake more money than you usually would. After all, if you think you’re on a winning streak, you’re going to be far more likely to spend that extra tenner in case you win the big bucks. If you feel like this is the case when you’ve signed up to a new bingo site, cancel your account as soon as possible. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
It’s also a good idea to read the site’s wagering requirements and payment terms. Yes, we’re talking about that fine print on the site that nobody ever likes to read. While it can be boring to read through, it will help you in the long run. As we discussed in our guide to wagering requirements, some sites will require you to spend a huge sum before you can make any withdrawals—even if you’ve won big. Additionally, if you know you’re not going to need money in your account straight away, don’t make a deposit. There’s no point in letting your money sit in your account if you’re not using it.
Going beyond the bingo site, it’s also your responsibility to control your funds. You should always keep an eye on what you’re spending. While it might be tempting to buy as many tickets as you can or take advantage of more promotions, you should try to be careful. It can be all too easy to spend over your budget when you get carried away in the moment. We recommend sticking to our tips on maximizing your bingo budget. This will help keep you playing bingo for longer and in a safer manner.
Beware Scams and Phishing Emails
Whether it’s from your own personal experience or from a close friend’s horrifying anecdote, you’ll have undoubtedly encountered email scams. The basic premise of these scams or phishing emails, is that someone will try to sell you something or ask you for your bank details—or just general personal information. You might have received some regarding insurance or a payment that you’ve ‘suddenly’ come into. Unfortunately, many people fall for these emails—because they look so authentic at times.
Bingo scam emails can also be tricky—they tend to display the correct bingo logo, which can lead many to believe that they’re receiving an official email. If you look carefully enough however, you will find these types of discrepancies:
- The sender address looks suspect.
- There are spelling mistakes throughout.
- They don’t address you by name.
Additionally, you’ll be able to tell that you’re receiving a scam if the ‘official email’ is asking you for personal or account information via email. An official bingo site will never ask you for your confidential bank details, passwords or debit/credit card pins.If you do receive an email or a phone call from someone claiming to be a part of the bingo site asking for your personal information, refuse immediately. You can always call up the bingo site’s support team to double-check at any point. Additionally, if you ever think your account has been compromised, change the password or call the support team for help.
Install Antivirus Software
If you’re using a computer to play online bingo, then you’re probably using the same computer to input all of your personal details into. Imagine a scenario in which your computer accidentally gets infected by spyware from one of these scam sites—before long, your entire system is compromised, exposing it to hijackers who end up hacking all of your accounts. This isn’t just a horror story for you to shrug off—it could happen to you at any time if you’re not careful enough.
You should always ensure that your system is secure at all times. The easiest way to do this is to install antivirus software. This software is meant to keep your system safe from the viruses and malware that could do horrific damage to your systems. It will also give you peace of mind.
Now, you don’t have to go over the top and buy the most expensive package you can find. Security like Norton for example, should do well enough. It’s just there to help you stay away from bad sites that might give you viruses or promote a scam.
Keep Your Children Away
If you have children or you’re often in the vicinity of them, you should definitely keep an eye out. Children are curious by nature, so you should ensure that there is no way they can access your bingo account. While this might seem very obvious, you never know what might happen—it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Imagine for a moment that you’ve given your computer, tablet or mobile to a child to play on. You assume that they’ll play on that app they love so much, only it turns out that they’ve pressed on your bingo app (we managed to convert you to mobile bingo). It also turns out that you’re still logged in, so they can quite easily click on a slot game and start playing. Unfortunately, the child has no idea that pressing play actually costs you money. Bingo sites are bright and appealing—especially to children—so you don’t want to take any chances.
To safeguard against a child accidentally spending all of your deposit money, you should stay logged out of your account at all times when you’re not using it. Alternatively, if you share a computer, you should opt for parental control settings.
If you’re new to BingoPort or you’re in need of a reminder, you should know that it is a vital resource if you’re looking to stay safe when playing online bingo.
To start, BingoPort is the ultimate source for comparing the infinite number of bingo sites out there. We offer a wide variety of detailed site reviews that you can use to choose the perfect bingo site. BingoPort gives you all of the information you need to know—from pros and cons to bonus packages. Essentially, we do all of the heavy-lifting for you.
We’re not just useful as a comparison source, we’re also great for getting more for your money. BingoPort comes with its own points system: Port Points. When you register with a new site or you make a comment, you can earn Port Points. Once you’ve earned enough, you can spend them in BingoPort’s exclusive Rewards Store. You could buy anything from Amazon vouchers to bingo bonuses on your favourite sites.
If that’s still not won you over, BingoPort also offers free games to BingoPort users—so you don’t even have to worry about signing up to a new site. You can just take advantage of BingoPort instead! And if you keep an eye on our exclusive news section, you’ll have unlimited access to the latest bingo news and gossip. Safety is one of the many topics of interest on BingoPort. In fact, if you’re looking to stay as safe and secure as possible, why not check out our top signs of a safe and trustworthy bingo site?
Let us know in the comments if there’s anything we’ve missed!