Ever since the arrival of online and mobile sports betting, African’s from Ghana to Nigeria, Uganda to Zambia and everywhere in between have been able to place bets on local and international sports with a click of the mouse or swipe of the screen. The convenience is only offset by the security risk, which is inherent to all Internet-based activities.
But how can you improve your online safety and protect your account when betting online? Let’s take a look.
The first step is to sign up with a licensed and secure online bookmaker or mobile betting site that caters to the African market. While there are plenty of available options, it is important to realize that not all betting sites are legitimate and offer legal betting for bettors in Africa.
When looking for a sportsbook to sign up with, make sure the site is fully licensed to offer services in your country – such as Bet9ja in Nigeria, Hollywoodbets in South Africa and Betway in Ghana.
PERSONAL SECURITY SOFTWARE
From a personal safety perspective, when using a desktop or laptop computer to bet online it is important to run the latest security software.
This will ensure that when you log into your betting account and place bets online, there is no malware on your computer that can capture your data or credit card information.
CREATE A STRONG ACCOUNT PASWORD
One area that gets overlooked is the actual password and sign in for the online or mobile betting account. While all top-rated sportsbooks use the latest encryption technology to secure their site, fraudsters can still access your account if you have a weak or short password.
The latest password decryption software is able to randomly test thousands of commonly used phrases linked with individual numbers and letters. Creating a strong password is essential if you want your account to be fully secure.
This means creating a password comprised of long strings of random letters and numbers, interspersed with non-standard characters. If the password is difficult to remember, it is best to use a password manager to keep your password secure and on hand when you need it.
USE SECURE BANKING FACILITIES IN AFRICA
When making a deposit into your sportsbook account use reputable locally based payment facilities such as web-wallets, bank transfers or prepaid cards. There are numerous trusted banking options available at African-friendly betting sites, and these include:
- Wire Transfer
- MTN Mobile Money
- Vodacom Mobile
SECURING YOUR MOBILE DEVIDE
If you bet at home on a PC or laptop, password security may not be such a big issue. It is a completely different story though if you use a mobile betting app, or access a mobile site. As a mobile user, there are many more safety risks that you have to face.
The first risk is that of your mobile device being stolen. For your protection to prevent access to your mobile betting app we suggest you secure your device with a lock password or biometric scan. The latest smartphones have fingerprint scanners or voice recognition to unlock the device, in addition to pattern recognition and typed passwords. Use these to keep your phone secure.
It is also a good idea to have a safety lock on the specific app, which only you can unlock. This can be set in app permissions so that other users cannot access specific apps on the phone. For those who use a mobile-friendly site, one should never save website passwords on your device. Always ensure that when you log on, you are prompted to insert your password.
If you are going to be using your cell phone to place bets in a public place, be sure to log in where know no one can see your details. It can also be best to avoid using public Wi-Fi connections to maintain your security, as these are more easily compromised. Steer clear of free Wi-Fi in shopping malls or at transport hubs, rather use your data connection to connect and go online.
Lastly, it is a good idea to enable remote wipe in case your phone is lost or stolen. This will ensure that you can wipe all the information off the phone including mobile betting apps, password managers and account information. Any cellphone shop should be able to help you set this feature up.
Online betting sites and mobile apps are generally secure, but there are plenty of ways that you can ensure you stay safe too. These guidelines are here to help you bet with peace of mind and ensure that your African betting journey is easy and safe.