These days, it seems like everybody is trying their hand at online poker. While this gaming experience can be incredibly fun and even profitable, it is important to remember that it can also be quite dangerous to your computer. Whenever you play online poker for money, lots of sensitive information, such as your credit card number, address, and bank account numbers, are sent out over the internet, and if you don’t have proper protective measures installed on your computer, you could be putting yourself at risk for identity theft and the loss of valuable computer data.
One of the most important things online poker players can do to protect their computers and their privacy is to download a reliable antivirus program.
These programs work through the use of firewalls, special devices that block unwanted or harmful information from infiltrating your computer system. Most computers will automatically have some kind of firewall program installed, but you will want something stronger for optimal protection. It is imperative that you don’t simply buy the first firewall program you come across, as some are much more trustworthy than others.
Zone Labs, Symantec, and McAffee are all trusted firewall companies that provide users with easy to use antivirus and firewall programs, some of which are completely free of charge. Approved programs included ZoneAlarm, ZoneAlarm Pro, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton Internet Security, and Norton Systemworks. Always be sure to read reviews of any program you are thinking of downloading and to read specifications for each program to be sure it will run properly on your computer.
Aside from having a trustworthy firewall, you’ll also want to use a Spyware removal program. These pick up where your firewall may be lacking and are especially useful since hackers are becoming more and more skilled at getting through even the best of firewalls. Ad-aware usually comes in conjunction with Spyware, and is also necessary to have for ultimate protection. These programs will work together to warn you when Spyware activities are occurring or attempting to occur on your system and will instruct you on how to get rid of the problem. As with firewalls, you’ll want to carefully research any program you are considering.
Finally, you should make use of various security utilities such as spyware sniffers and free diagnostic tools regularly to ensure all of your programs are working as they should. A good site to check out is Steve Gibson’s Research Center site, home to the wonderful Shields Up! Testing program that determines the security level of your computer in just a few minutes. Running these kinds of checks regularly will keep you abreast of any changes in your computer or of potentially dangerous sites you are frequenting.
Always be sure to download any updates to all of the protective programs you use. These updates are usually made to correct problems or to make the protective programs more effective. Keeping on top of all of this will ensure a safer and more enjoyable gaming experience.