I would give someone different security advice for online bridge than for any bridge games they played at a club.
Physical bridge clubs don’t demand passwords to play, but passwords are a good idea for online games. Online bridge means that players should secure their devices, and not remember to lock their cars.
Even if you aren’t a newcomer to online bridge, you should consider device security a top priority. Could your current bridge device be made safer than it is now? In a world of growing cybersecurity threats, the answer is always yes.
Here’s how to make sure that your online bridge experience stays as safe possible.
1. Update everything.
Outdated software is a hacker’s playground. Once software has been around for a while, it becomes easier to exploit for nefarious things – and that’s what updates are there for.
Always update your browser, your antivirus software, and your device firmware when it’s time to do so. Updates correct flaws, close coding holes, and fix vulnerabilities that might be present in older versions of the same thing.
If you play online bridge with outdated software, you’re taking a huge and unnecessary risk.
2. Choose stronger passwords.
It’s a completely fair statistic to say that 99.9% of people in the world have chosen passwords that could be cracked or guessed.
If your passwords are actual words or familiar terms, you’re at risk: Passwords can be guessed, and software exists that can force it.
Bridge players should make sure that their bridge profile passwords are completely unique and entirely randomized. When passwords are made just that little bit more difficult, guessing them is impossible (and any attempts at hacking can be nipped right in the bud).
3. Log out.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited an internet cafe or library just to find that previous users had left their most personal accounts logged in.
Bridge players should be in the habit of always logging out. When the bridge game’s over, turn out the lights… Accounts that are left logged in are always more vulnerable to being exploited, and that’s obviously not a cybersecurity plus.
It’s a little bit of effort to type in your passwords every time.
But it’s also safer for all your devices and accounts.
4. Use separate email addresses.
Here’s the technological equivalent of not putting your eggs in the same basket. Use separate email addresses for personal information and for bridge.
This way, you know exactly which account holds all your bridge-related details – and if anyone tries to gain access to your accounts, they are much less likely to manage.
Remember to choose different passwords for your different accounts. Again, it slows down any nefarious account access attempts down.
Do you have any online security tips to share with fellow bridge players?