Online Bingo Data Thief Gets Off Too Lightly

Online Bingo Data Thief Gets Off Too Lightly

Controversy surrounded the lenient sentence handed down to the thief who stole 65,000 people’s personal data from an online bingo company’s database.

Former gambling industry worker Marc Ben-Ezra had his wrists softly slapped by the judge presiding in the case where he was found guilty of three counts of breaching the Data Protection Act’s Section 55 which deals with the unlawful acquisition and sale of personal information. For stealing the personal details of 65,000 members of foxybingo.com Ben-Ezra was sentenced to a three year conditional discharge along with an order to repay the £1,700 he was paid by Cashcade Limited for a sample of the stolen “list” plus costs of £830.80.

Online Bingo Data Thief Gets Off Too LightlyThis sentence was far too lenient according to Christopher Graham, the ICO’s Information Commissioner, who said that it proved only that there is still not a realistic punishment to fit the crime.

This incident just goes to show that although people believe that their information is secure at online establishments, there are instances such as this that highlight the need for greater vigilance by operators. While online security measures adopted by online casinos, poker and bingo sites are as strong as those used by online banks, it is the human factor that cannot always be made totally watertight. This is no different from any form of business where there is a commodity that can be stolen and sold on the black market for cash.

People signing up for online casinos and gambling establishments can do some things to help prevent the spread of personal online data theft.

1. People often use the same name and password for all their online activities because it’s easy to remember. It also makes it easy for data thieves. To prevent this, they should always use a different login name and password from any other online business, including online financial activities as well as social activities such as online forums and social sites like Facebook.

2. People tend to have a single email address that they use for everything. Again, this makes things easy for data thieves. Always use a different email address than used for all other online activity. This means creating a second email address but this can easily be done with one of the many free email providers such as gmail, hotmail or yahoo mail.

3. Use a payment processor like Neteller, Paypal (where it is available) or an online wallet rather than using a credit or debit card directly in your account. This creates another tough level of security that thieves have to go through if they want your details.