Viruses can range from a mild inconvenience to outright catastrophic for your computer system. Sadly, since day one of our connected world, viruses have existed, and they’ll continue to do so. It’s something all gamers need to be aware of. That’s especially true when dealing with online casino games. There are lots of shady operators in this sector of the gaming industry. So, we decided to write this guide to help you avoid getting a virus when gaming online.
Online gamblers should pay special attention to this article. Unfortunately, the number of viruses and malware apps embedded in casino software is high compared to other industries.
Downloading Gaming Apps – Verify the Source
If you must download a gaming or gambling app, make sure to do so from a verified source. The best option is directly from safe online casinos. The bigger the brand and the longer it’s been online, the safer it will be.
If you can’t get the app from the site directly, Google Play or the Apple Store are good options. However, do not assume that all apps on these platforms are safe. Some scams do slip through the net, and some people do claim they’ve gotten viruses from them before.
Pay for Antivirus Software
Free antivirus software is OK, but it’s never going to be as good as the paid for option. Think about it; what incentive does the virus software manufacturer have to give you their best for free? No business would do this. The premium antivirus programs are always going to be better, updated more frequently, etc.
If you don’t want to pay, think about the potential cost of not doing so. If you work online or are gaming from your workplace, imagine if a virus took you offline for several days. What would the potential cost be? It doesn’t bear thinking about in some cases.
View paid antivirus software as an investment you can’t afford to be without. Don’t assume that the most famous brands like McAfee are the best. Shop around and find the best option by reading reviews on sites like TrustPilot and CNet.
Stick With Recognized Brands
When you’re gambling online, you’ll notice that there are endless new casino sites and sports books popping up all the time. Some of them have temping bonuses, and that’s by design. The hook is simple: sign up with us and we’ll give you something for nothing. It’s difficult to resist.
However, don’t dive in too quickly. A small percentage of these sites offer apps with spyware and ransomware hidden in the code. That free bonus could be very costly if you fall victim to such a scheme.
It’s always better to stick with large, established brands. You can play at new gambling sites sometimes, but make sure you do in-depth research before you sign up. Also, try to judge the quality of the gambling site. If it offers games like strip blackjack and adult-themed slots, it’s probably shady.
Opt For Instant-Play Options
At most gaming and gambling websites, you’ll have two options; download vs instant play. There are pros and cons to both options, but generally speaking, instant play is safer.
Think about how a virus might get onto your device. You have to download a document, an app, or open an attachment for that to happen. In short, the malicious code has to contact your operating system and imbed itself.
This can’t happen if you don’t download anything. When you log into an instant-play casino site, you’re entering an online database of games in the cloud. There’s no interaction with your device’s operating system, and therefore, there’s no way for you to get a virus.
Always play through your web or mobile browser. If the gambling site is trying to force you to download something, be suspicious. That’s not good practice or ethical behaviour.
Avoiding Viruses When Gaming – FAQs
- What is a virus and how does it work?
A virus is a piece of malicious code that aims to damage or destroy your operating system and spread itself to other system’s. Just like a real virus such as the flu, viruses come in many forms, attack different elements of computer systems, and can cause mass destruction.
- What’s ransomware? Is it dangerous?
Ransomware is a form of malware that aims to financially extort you. If you download it, such as by downloading a scam gambling app, it will lock your device and demand payment. This payment is often requested in cryptocurrencies that can’t be traced such as Monero. Even if you pay, there’s no guarantee the hackers will unlock your system.
- What’s the best antivirus software for online gamers?
You’ll have to do your own research into this, but any of the top brands should do. Again, pay to receive the best version, the latest updates, etc. It’s worth it.