6 Tips for Online Sports Betting Security
If you’re a sports fan, and you love to bet on your teams, you’ve been waiting for online sports betting to become legal in more states. If you live in one of these states, you can often bet online through a variety of online sportsbooks, each with their own features and odds. Generally, you can fund bets on these sites by connecting a debit or credit card or your bank account. Anytime there’s an online transfer of your money, it’s important to make sure you’re using good security practices, so nobody can steal your winnings or siphon money out of your bank account through these betting services.
You have a lot of options in choosing an online sports betting service, so find the online gambling portals that work best for you. And always use these safe sports betting tips to keep your information and funds secure while enjoying sports betting online.
1. Look for legal online sports betting
Many sites won’t allow you to bet unless you’re in a state where they’re licensed. You can often find a list of licensed sports betting sites for your state through a state government website or the local media.
Using a legal online sports betting site makes it easier to fund your account using a bank or credit card, protects you from legal ramifications of gambling and makes it more likely you’ll be able to get your money back if something goes wrong. With sports betting now legal in much of the U.S., there’s no reason to risk placing bets with someone operating under the table.
2. Use a site you trust
As with other online commerce, get smart before you spend. Read reviews and look for sites affiliated with major casino brands. State licensing and regulation helps ensure secure online sports betting, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you know who you’re doing business with when financial transactions are involved.
Check to make sure you’re visiting the right site, and not a fraudulent copycat site, by entering the address directly or clicking a trusted link. If you decide to use multiple online sports betting sites to take advantage of different games, odds or sign-up bonuses, make sure they’re all trustworthy. Forget those pop-ups that appear on your mobile device, be careful of clicking on random marketing emails and watch out for the links you find through social media ads. These could be phishing scams that will wreak havoc on the files on your computer and devices.
3. Make sure your devices are secure
Whether you’re gambling, shopping or just checking your email, you want to make sure your devices and connection to the internet are secure. Keep your operating systems updated on your phone, tablet and computer. Consider installing antivirus and firewall software to keep out intruders.
Keep your web browser up to date as well, and update apps for any gambling sites you’re using. If you’re on a public network, such as Wi-FI in a public place, you might want to consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to connect with an added layer of security.
Contact your internet service provider (ISP) for information about what security options they offer, including security software you can add to your current plan. If you’re using a cable or fiber internet provider, you may also want to look into TV and internet packages that will enable you to keep track of the sports you’re interested in watching and betting on.
4. Use secure passwords for each site
If you’re setting up accounts on multiple gambling sites or multiple sites in general, you might be tempted to reuse passwords from site to site. Avoid doing this, as it means if someone is able to steal your password from one site, they’ll be able to use it across every site you connect to.
If you’re worried about coming up with secure passwords you can remember, consider using password management software. Check with your ISP to see if they offer this service.
5. Use two-factor authentication when available
Two-factor authentication requires you to enter a code generated on your phone or texted to you before you can log in to a site or app with your username and password. This means even if someone guesses your password for an online sports betting site, they’ll still have difficulty impersonating you to make bets in your name or steal your money. Some betting sites can also email or text you when someone logs in to your account.
See what options are available to you from the gaming services you choose.
6. Keep an eye on your statements
Whenever you’re betting online, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your bank statements to make sure there are no surprise charges. If you win money, you’ll also want to make sure it’s properly deposited into your bank account.
Most banks, credit card issuers and other financial providers, like PayPal, Venmo and Cash App, make it easy to view your balances and transaction logs online through an app or website, as well as check out your monthly statement. You also often can set smartphone notifications for transactions on your account.
It’s also worth making sure your financial accounts have secure passwords and, if available, two-factor authentication for each account. And be sure your contact information, like your phone number and address, are up to date, in case a bank has to contact you about a suspicious transaction.