Are you an avid gambler but not entirely sure what to expect from a trusted online casino? The options online can be endless, and choosing the one with the best secure environment can be a daunting task.
This guide aims to offer you tips and information regarding data encryption, privacy policies, reputable licenses, and much more that you should be mindful of.
From the moment you join an online casino, you are indulging in real money games that involve sharing and transferring your personal and financial information with the casino or its associated platforms.
You should be certain about the safety and security of such information, and the underlying reputation and reliability of the online casino. More often, you will find that a lot of online casinos have stringent security measures in place for the benefit of their customers and in the interest of their continued business too. If they fail to do so, they put you and themselves under a huge financial risk!
What is SSL – Data Encryption
SSL stands for ‘Secure Socket Layer’. It is an encryption method that is commonly used to secure the communication that takes place between the customer and the casino.
A secure connection gives you the peace of mind that your personal and banking information is secure and you can focus on enjoying the game rather than your information. SSL encryption allows for the transmission of your data in an encrypted manner that restricts a stranger or a third party to gain access to your information. This experience should be no different to shopping online or using a banking service online – all with trusted partners and vendors.
The casinos use 128 or 256-bit encryptions to transform your data (that you share with the casino) into a difficult code language. This is the same level of protection that top banks use for their online banking portals.
You can assess and identify the form of encryption that your casino uses by glancing at your toolbar. If the web address uses ‘https’ instead of ‘http’, then that signifies the use of an SSL certificate, i.e. the data exchange on this site will be encrypted.
How Safe Is Banking At An Online Casino?
The best online casinos would never compromise or fall short of providing apt security measures and will have solid tie-ups with major financial institutions and/or payment service providers to give the safest online gaming experience for their customers. This is naturally in their best interests too, as the whole business model would collapse if there is a safety or security threat vis-à-vis the banking arrangements associated with playing the games on their website.
The reputed casinos will rely only on the best SSL security technology available, as opposed to the rogue or random online casinos (including third party player forums). The latter may not be subject to seals, oversights, or audits. Always read reviews and listen to what the experts have to say whilst recommending the online casinos.
If you shop online at those big online retail stores, then you should be equally comfortable transacting online at reputable and licenses casinos.
One way of looking at it is that the financial institutions are partners with casinos whilst offering their banking channels to you as a customer. By that token, you also get the security associated with Visa, MasterCard, or other renowned payment methods that you commonly rely upon. This double security feature should certainly add to your confidence when you deposit funds to play games or even when you withdraw money.
If you want to play in a fool-proof manner then you can also opt for those ‘pay safe cards’ that provide you with a disposable option to deposit funds. In this instance, even if your number gets stolen, it cannot be compromised, and will not impact the money sitting in your bank.
Privacy policies (often contained in a hyperlink at the bottom of a website or app) are often ignored and not given the importance they deserve. They are meant to be read with care but nobody bothers to do so. They essentially tell you all about how the casino intends to use and store your personal and financial information.
You need to assess whether they are sharing your information (such as name, email, and contact details) to third-party service providers? If so, why are they doing so, and for how long? If you are not comfortable with this arrangement then you can always opt-out.
You will find casinos that do not share or rent out your information to someone else. They manage all of that information in-house and ensure that they maintain the secrecy and confidentiality of such information. If you didn’t agree to impart with your information with a third party, then you have legal recourse against the casino if they fail to protect your information.
By joining the casino, you are essentially agreeing to all those policies and arrangements that are in the policy document or other terms and conditions that you signed up to. And ignorance or the fact that you didn’t read them will not be an excuse, and it may be too late by then.
An online casino owner requires a license to legally offer any gaming services that fall into the domain of sports betting, lotto, poker, or bingo.
Failure to obtain a license raises question marks on the workings of an online platform or portal, and they may not even be able to open bank accounts or put up games on their website. This also signifies the absence of a contract with the gambling software provider as none would exist without a formal license. A gambling license offers the owner with certain benefits including reduced tax rates.
Online gaming bodies and licensors are not the same as physical casinos. Not all of them have a uniform or stringent licensing related requirements, and this increases the chances or error or negligence on part of the online casino owners. It is important to know who these overseeing or regulatory bodies are so you can be watchful and observant of the practices adopted by the casino owners.
A good way for the casino owners to showcase their licensing requirements or credentials is by putting them on their website. Alternatively, these gaming licensing bodies can also publish a list of online casinos on their website to which they have issued, suspended, or revoked a license, so the customers can assess and secure themselves accordingly.
Play on Reputable Licensed Casinos – UK, Canada
Security and regulation of online casinos can broadly be divided into three main segments:
- Generally Accepted Casino Practices
- Safety at the Slots
- Banking security
Each of these aspects is backed by unique tools and strategic processes, but their regulation falls under the same body that is distinct for each country or region. In the case of Canada for instance, the websites will be relying on third-party technical auditing firms such as TST and eCOGRA. These firms are tasked to approve only the best online platforms by assessing and reviewing their implementation of the abovementioned segments, and highlighting and addressing any risk areas that they may identify during such audit process.
As a general rule, gamblers should only consider fully licenses casinos that are signed off by the Canadian Kahnawake Gaming Commission or the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).
These commissions ensure that they certify only those real money gambling sites that are safe, secure, private, and use at least 128-bit encryption – ensuring you peace of mind whenever you play.
Another good aspect of these licensed online casinos is that the games payout percentages are fully reviewed by Gaming Commissions, and they also ensure that you do get paid whenever you win.
Random Number Generator Testing (RNG)
Random Number Generator (RNG) is a software that ensures that casino games get conducted fairly and transparently. They form the core of any fair and secure online casino gaming framework.
Online casinos are based on virtual decks of cards and slot reels. RNG software is the only tool that makes sure that the cards you get or the landing of the slot reels are all premised on chance and not predisposed to any manipulation by the casino owner or a third person.
The RNG software regularly gets tested and verified by independent organizations, and all the reputed online casinos will openly publish the results of the findings on their website for the public to see, in the interest of transparency, and to retain their trust and confidence in the website.
For a safe and secure online casino experience, pay special heed to the following corporate logos:
eCOGRA stands for ‘eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance’. It is an internationally renowned entity that assists online gambling operators with audits and monitoring.
A confident and trustworthy operator will take pride in displaying the eCOGRA seal on their website. You can click on the seal to find out the detailed information and aspects of the casino’s operation that eCOGRA has audited or tested.
TST stands for ‘Technical Systems Testing’. It is a Canadian organization and is established as one of the best testing and compliance entities in the online gambling audit industry. They provide a variety of independent auditing services to scores of online gaming operations and casinos.
Protect Yourself & Tips
It is well-established and commonly observed that online users who got their accounts compromised could have easily prevented it themselves, by being proactive and managing their online activities. We cannot put the blame completely on the casino operators.
Change Your Password
Any password that you create for an online account, keeps losing its secured status with time. The only way to keep intrusions at bay is by changing your password frequently, and ideally, once every month.
You should revise your password if there is a server intrusion; if you logged in from a public or shared PC; a malware is running on your system or gadget; or upon receipt of notification of unauthorized access to your account.
Never Store Passwords
Never permit your browser to save your passwords for you, as tempting as it may seem. This leaves your passwords exposed to intrusion and hence vulnerable. Consider using a password manager instead, which reduces the risk of divulging your password.
Only Use Your Devices
It is public knowledge that it isn’t safe to use online banking features from public computers or anyone else’s for that matter, even with the highest levels of security features for logging into your account.
The reason for the above is simple: any public or stranger’s computer may have a crimeware installed in it that can easily and discreetly capture your username and password, and share that with a cybercriminal. This is a common occurrence as we have seen and heard from various anti-phishing working groups.
An external device can be used to login to secure networks and perform online transactions. This provides much higher protection against cybercriminals accessing your account.
Another good option that affords strong security is to opt for a bank that provides SWYS protection – Sign-What-You-See. This feature prompts the user to approve and verify every transaction that is made using a particular bank account, and by using the security device that is your personal one. This has the ability to block the hackers from overtaking your web browser when you are conducting an online transaction – known as the ‘man-in-the-browser’ attack.
What is a Rogue Casino? – Blacklisted Casinos
The term “rogue casino” is often used to refer to those casinos that are not licensed, or unregulated, and/or who have an established record of defrauding customers.
These casinos also do not attract consistent and good traffic. They also do not update their site frequently.
These are the red flags that you need to be wary of, as your security can be highly at risk with these blacklisted casinos. Always read authentic and credible reviews or blogs that expose “rogue casinos” or are termed as blacklisted.