February 10, 2022
Categories: Financial Security, Protecting Your Accounts, Safety & Security, Scams & Fraud, Tips
By Dawn Kellogg, Public Relations and Community Engagement Specialist
According to Forbes Magazine, over 23 million Americans plan to bet more than $4.3 billion on this year’s Super Bowl. Over 1/3 of those people plan to bet online.
There is no doubt – sports betting, particularly online, is exploding. Goldman Sachs Group Inc predicts that the online market could reach nearly $40 billion in annual revenue by 2033 – up from less than $1 billion last year.
Betting online can be fun. But it’s only fun if it’s safe.
- Be selective of your betting sites and apps. Invest some time in making sure that they have a gambling license, are trustworthy and credible. If they are legit, they might have restrictions or rules that you will need to be aware of.
- When you choose a username, don’t enter your personal name or information.
- Create a strong password. Have a different password for each of the sites that you use. Make sure that you change the password periodically (every 6 – 12 months).
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if possible. A VPN hides your IP data and encrypts your data so it can’t be stolen. Online casinos are a prime target for Cybercriminals who want to steal your private information, so it’s especially important to use a VPN if you are going to be betting online. Always combine the VPN with an up-to-date antivirus program so that you are doubly covered.
- Look for the “lock.” When you enter your bank/credit card info, you always must look for the padlock symbol next to the URL. The symbol appears on credible sites that use Secure Sockets Layer encryption (SSL), which ensures that transactions are done safely.
- Read the fine print. Before betting, read the fine print, especially when looking at promos. It’s a long document with terms and conditions but read (and understand) it instead of just accepting – especially where it concerns things relating to making payments or collecting winnings.
- Consider your payment method. Some payment methods are more secure than others. Making a bank transfer or credit card payment can be safe, but make sure that your bank will help you if you are exposed to fraud. Consider using an e-wallet.
- Make sure to login or logout after each use. If using the app, make sure to logout after each use.
- If applicable, enable any security features on the site. This could be a passcode and/or Two-Factor Authentication which will send you a code to enter into the application.
- Check your bank/credit card statements to make sure that the correct amount has been withdrawn.
- Keep track of how much you are spending. Every app is required to show an account history, so use that tool along with your bank statements to keep track. Many applications allow users to create limits to ensure users are not overextending themselves, or making large, impulsive wagers.
- Don’t open unsolicited emails. (This is a good rule of thumb to follow on a regular basis, too!) If an offer is received through email for an application you are already utilizing, log into the application through the application you personally downloaded and NOT through the link. If it is a legitimate offer, it will most likely be directly available within the application.
Good luck! Have fun! And stay safe!