Online poker service PokerStars has announced a major change to its software that is likely to affect all registered players on the site, SMS validation.
The SMS validation option, which is set to be included in PokerStars’ latest software update, will be initially available to accounts in specific countries and deployed globally once the company has ensured that it meets customer expectations.
One a player has activated SMS Validation of their account, they will receive an SMS text message when potential irregularities with their account are detected. When this message is sent, the ability to conduct real money transactions (including deposit, cash out, transfer, tournament registration and cash games) will be suspended until the player provides the code number included in the SMS.
A player will also be unable to make changes to their login security settings (such as the removal of the SMS validation feature, PIN or RSA) or other sensitive account details. Players who have registered in any PokerStars tournaments before they receive the SMS will still be able to play them, which ensures they will not lose the buy-ins they have already paid.
PokerStars’ Head of Public Relations Michael Josem said the new feature will strengthen the security of players’ accounts by reducing their vulnerability to unauthorised hackers.
“PokerStars is once again delivering on the importance of security for our customers. We were the first online poker operator to provide RSA Security Tokens and now the first online poker operator to offer this SMS security mechanism,” he said. “The service is free to all players and adds an additional security mechanism to help PokerStars player accounts remain safe and secure against online threats.”
The service will also being allowing certain accounts to reset their password via SMS as a way of allowing players to more easily regain access to their PokerStars account.