Cyber security awareness important to sports fans

Jasmine Casimir // Asst. Sports Director

When sports fans attend games, they may see security on every end of the venue, ensuring that operations run smoothly throughout the game. But safety isn’t the only thing that needs to be enforced at sporting events.

Monitoring the scoreboard and lighting, to make sure the equipment and technology used aren’t being tampered with, is just as important.

On Oct. 12, 2015, the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers went head to head for a Monday night football game. It came down to the last drive to determine the game, but the NFL admitted that there was a malfunction with the game clock on the final drive, costing the Steelers 18 seconds. If the Steelers had not scored, the game clock error could have handed the victory to the Chargers.

In situations like this, you wonder how many times this has occurred, and is there a backup plan for it. One proposed solution is having referees keep official time on the field but it may not be the best option.

“Too many things can go wrong with normal people working the game clock,” said Darryl Singleton, a junior majoring in meteorology. “The person can have favoritism and want to cheat one team to help the other.”

Referees are human and can jeopardize a game, especially if the outcome would result in an upset for a rivalry game. However, being a referee requires objectivity and precision, they should be entrusted with that role and this additional responsibility.

For a sports fan, hacked sporting events is the least of their worry. In addition to the security issue that may arise on the football field, sports betting also has some risks.

Sports betting is a very popular activity, as it makes watching the game more exciting. According to gambleonline.co, people wager over $250 billion a year on sports, with $100 million bet on the Super Bowl alone.

The dangerous part of betting online is that the site can be hacked, and the possibility of winning back money can disappear in an instant. There are also instances where people give their money to illegitimate sites, and it disappears

It’s very risky to bet online, but there are ways to prevent online scamming you or hacking.

“Always do your research on a site,” said Singleton. “You can google the site to see if anyone has had problems in the past to fraudulent activity due to the site.”

In addition to verifying the legitimacy of a website and how it operates, it’s important to pay attention to the contracts on the site. If there is one, read through it thoroughly. Fine prints are also important because they list the small but bidding rules created by the website.

For some, betting online doesn’t seem safe or they have second thoughts, so they use the option of betting in person. Through this avenue, participants know exactly who they’re interacting with and giving their money over to.

Whether it’s online or in person, there are vulnerable areas in cyber security all around us. By staying aware and taking the necessary precautions, you can prevent falling victim to this growing problem.

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