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Security at Live Events

We want you to have a positive experience at our events. As part of that, here is some advice to help you ensure that you maintain good personal security at our live events. While every individual is responsible for their own security, and that of their personal belongings, we want to provide some advice to help improve your personal security.

Protecting Yourself

When you travel to our events, you are often in an unfamiliar environment, and may not speak the local language. Local thieves and criminals often target tourists attending large public events, and this can include players attending poker tournaments. Most crimes involving players at our events are crimes of opportunity and the theft of personal belongings. Travellers can also be the targets of pick-pockets who operate where tourists tend to gather, especially in night-time entertainment venues.

Consequently, please read and follow the travel advice provided by your Government when travelling to foreign countries.

Protecting Your Computer Equipment

If you travel with personal computer equipment, be aware that this can be an attractive target for thieves; not just because the electronics have a great deal of intrinsic value, but also because attackers may want to hack into your various accounts (email, bank, online gaming, etc).

Key defensive measures you can take include:

  1. Lock your computer screen when you step away. In the Windows operating system, just press the Windows Key and ‘L’ at the same time. On a Mac, press Cntl+Shift+Eject (Cntl+Shift+Power on Macs without an optical drive).
  2. Enable secure logon. Instructions are here:
    1. Windows Vista
    2. Windows 7
    3. Mac
  3. Store your laptop in a safe and/or use a laptop security lock. You can purchase a laptop security lock at the PokerStars VIP Store.
  4. Use full disk encryption. One free and open-source option is TrueCrypt.
  5. Follow PokerStars advice on creating high quality passwords and use RSA Security Tokens to further improve the security of access to your online account.
  6. Use high-quality anti-virus software, such as the options available from the PokerStars VIP Store.
  7. Keep your operating system up-to-date through regular patches available from the manufacturer of your operating system.

Treat your online accounts as if they are your money

High quality passwords, RSA tokens, and the like are useless if you give them to other people. If you wouldn’t hand somebody your ATM card and tell him its PIN, don’t give him access to your computer.

Don’t write down passwords. Memorize them or use a password vault. If you absolutely must write them down, do so in some kind of code that will not be useful to fraudsters.

Threat Response

If you believe your computer has been compromised, stop using it immediately and contact an expert as soon as possible. If you are at a live poker tournament, please notify hotel security. Assuming the computer is not needed by law enforcement officials, take it to a qualified computer security consultant and get it cleaned. And note that just changing your password(s) is not sufficient. There is a danger that somebody has installed a key-logger or other ‘malware’ on your device that will enable them to see the keystrokes you put in.

Keep all your data backed-up regularly so that should you have to clean a computer, you will be able to recover your data. This will make it emotionally easier to do whatever is necessary to clean a compromised laptop.

Keep the cost of a computer cleaning (or replacement) in perspective relative to the potential cost of somebody being able to access your online poker accounts, or access your bank and credit accounts.

The good news is that it’s likely you’ll never need these security measures. But just like wearing a seatbelt in your car, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Have a wonderful time at your next event and thank you for your continued support.

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