Most of us have used the internet for long enough now to know how to stay safe online. However, the truth is that the techniques of fraudsters, and their unique scams to steal our personal data or payment information, are becoming more sophisticated and harder to trace.
One of the areas they can target with their nefarious activities are online casinos, where they know that large sums of money and personal details are stored.
The good news is that the vast majority of online casinos implement the most rigorous security technology to keep their customers safe, but we can all do our bit to ensure that we are minimizing the risks even further.
So, if you are an avid online casino user, make sure that you are following the advice detailed below to stay safe in your play.
Pay the right way
There are numerous different payment methods accepted by Canadian casinos these days, but some are inherently more secure than others.
“The rise of e-wallets has been so vital for the sector,” says Geraldine Nguyen, editor at Playcasinos.ca. “These allow you to action deposits into – and withdrawals out of – your casino account without sharing your bank details or credit/debit card numbers.”
Instead, your e-wallet – think iDebit, paysafecard, Skrill, PayPal, etc., – links to your casino account and helps minimize your online ‘footprint’, meaning that you aren’t having to store sensitive data on the servers of a site, which may be a target for hackers.
“If you do need to use a debit/credit card to facilitate a payment, our tip is to use a card issued by one of the major names – Visa or Mastercard,” Ms Nguyen adds. “These firms will try to help you recover your losses if you are the victim of a scam, and they even have their own in-house fraud teams to help you should the worst happen.”
Licensed to thrill
As you may already be aware, an online casino must secure a licence before it can offer its games to its customer base.
The truth is that not all licensing authorities are as stringent as each other – to get a Malta Gaming Authority licence, for example, a casino site must show that it is able to deliver the most exacting levels of service and quality. Those licensed by other ‘offshore’ regulators may not have the same strict requirements.
The North American market has its own individual licensing bodies, but it’s recommended that you do your research on an online casino before you register for an account – find out who they are licensed by and consider how that might impact upon the levels of security you experience.
No corners cut
You don’t need to be an expert in online security measures to know how safe a website is.
Does the little padlock icon appear in the address bar when you type in the casino’s URL? That’s a good sign, as it means that any data you enter on those pages will be encrypted.
You can usually find out about the other security tools that a casino has implemented by browsing the ‘security’ page of the site – you can often find these linked in the footer section of a website. It will detail what levels of encryption are in place and reveal whether the casino is using SSL or any other level of encryption to protect its customers.
In this case, we recommend only using those sites that have implemented 128-bit encryption – this is considered the gold standard in site security.
Secure your logins
Not enough internet users are deploying two-factor authentication (2FA) to help keep their login details secure.
Yes, it can be an annoyance to have to check your smart device for a text message or email to find the unique login code you have been sent, but this is a way to double-lock your account against fraud – only you can log in when 2FA is used.
Other basic practices for login safety should also be used. Never use a stock password such as ‘1234’, and consider using a password for each casino site that is different from your stock login details for social media sites, your Amazon account, etc. This could even be a chain of random numbers and letters – making it much harder for a hacker to ‘guess’ what your credentials might be.
Some casino gamers grow frustrated with the verification processes – such as Know Your Customer (KYC) – that some sites implement.
However, you should not take this process for granted. Before you can make a withdrawal, you will likely have to prove your identity using a government-recognized form of identification, and this step is vital in preventing fraudsters from getting away with your money.
As we’ve already confirmed, this data will be kept perfectly safe by the best online casinos anyway, and in some cases, the copy of your ID documents is ‘destroyed’ by the casino once it has confirmed that you are who you say you are.
While this article has focused on how to keep your account secure at an online casino, another way to guarantee your own safety is to ensure that your gaming is responsible and appropriate.
The truth is that we can all get carried away when we’re on winning or losing streaks, and the best casinos are those that offer their customers a range of tools to ensure that their play remains safe.
Deposit and stake limits are just two tools you can use to make sure that your play remains at a responsible level, and you can also introduce time limits on your gaming sessions so that you aren’t getting carried away.
Should you require a more extensive period away from the site, you can implement a temporary ‘time-out’ or even a permanent ‘exclusion’ from an online casino, and most will carry the contact details of agencies and organizations that can provide assistance if you feel that your gaming is getting out of hand.
If you implement all of the steps included in this article, you can greatly improve your online security – essential in an age of ever-more sophisticated scams and fraud.