Online gaming platforms have exploded in popularity over the past decade. With them, the allure of online poker has surged, offering enthusiasts a chance to try their luck from the comfort of their homes.
However, as with any online platform, these gaming sites hold vast personal and financial data, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals.
The recent data breach at PokerStars, one of the world’s most renowned online poker platforms, exposed over 110,000 customers, leaving many users anxious about the implications. The files breached included personal user information, such as addresses, names, and Social Security numbers.
PokerStars will offer third-party identity protection services for free for 24 months, but that might not cover all of your losses.
How Players Can Protect Themselves
The PokerStars data breach understandably sent waves of concern among its many users. Let’s dive into some recommended actions for boosting security:
Keep an Eye on Your Financial Transactions
In our digitally connected era, regularly monitoring our financial transactions is wise. Given the recent breach, every PokerStars user should diligently review their linked bank accounts and credit card statements.
Unexpected transactions, no matter how small, can be telltale signs of unauthorized activity. If discrepancies arise or something simply feels off, report it to your financial institution. In doing so, not only can you stop fraudulent activities, but the institution can also offer additional protections.
Refreshing Security Credentials
Now is the time to re-evaluate the strength and uniqueness of your passwords, especially for PokerStars. Using identical or similar login credentials across multiple platforms is not uncommon. While convenient, this can leave you vulnerable.
After a data breach on one platform, all other accounts sharing those credentials become potential targets. A strong password manager can generate and store complex passwords securely.
Two-factor authentication, commonly called 2FA, has steadily risen as a gold standard in online security. If PokerStars or any other online service you use offers this feature, activate it. 2FA demands a secondary verification step—a texted code, a biometric scan, or an authentication app—before granting access.
Even if a cybercriminal has your password, accessing your account remains a significant challenge without the second verification.
Guarding Against Phishing
The ripple effects of a data breach often give rise to another sinister threat—phishing.
Armed with some legitimate information from the breach, cybercriminals use deceptive emails, messages, or calls, pretending to represent the affected institution. Their goal? Extracting more sensitive data or spreading malware.
Approach any unsolicited communication with skepticism. Even if an email seems to originate from PokerStars, always double-check through official channels before acting on it.
Contact a New York Data Breach Lawyer
The PokerStars breach is a wake-up call, demonstrating that no platform is entirely immune in our digital age. Players must proactively approach security, understanding the risks inherent in online platforms.
You can explore legal avenues if the PokerStars data breach or similar incidents adversely affected you. New York personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is at the forefront of assisting victims of data breaches. Contact us today to learn more.