Despite the credit crunch, online gambling has increased in both revenue and popularity over the years. The danger with this rapid expansion is that internet security can still be tenuous and it seems as though every day more hackers and cyber criminals take advantage of unsuspecting visitors. Here are a few ways to avoid becoming one of them.

The Bad

Connect to wifi

Okay, let’s get the bad bits over and done with. There are several ways that criminals will try to get your money or your identification. Fraud and phishing emails sometimes pretend to be part of existing gambling and gaming companies, hackers can access information on devices connected to unsecured networks such as in coffee shops, and spyware can record your personal information including passwords and bank details. Assume a website can’t be trusted, and then check it’s real to make sure that you stay safe.

The Good

The great news is that legitimate gambling websites will be more than happy to prove their credentials, but if they use 128-bit SSL Data Encryption that is a very good sign. The biggest shops, banks and websites use this software which scrambles sensitive information so it can’t be accessed by unauthorized parties. Multiple options for payment is also a good sign, as it allows you to pay securely through credit and debit cards and perhaps also through third-party websites – remember, if the gambling site doesn’t know your information neither will any potential hackers.

Spotting the Signs

VeriSign Secured

No legitimate site will ask you for personal information that they should already have, so if you receive an email asking for your password, bank details or anything else private feel free to email or call to a phone number or address found on their main site. Browsers have a few functions which help to pick out secure sites such as a green address bar in the browser window and a tiny padlock symbol next to the website address; sites like Lucky Nugget Casino will show these as well as various payment options and icons such as the VeriSign tick and Thawte padlock. The “s” in “https://” means that the website is encrypted and your information is safe.

Staying Safe

Never, ever reveal your password or any other personal information to anyone who calls or emails claiming to be a representative – it may sound obvious but these professionals know how to be convincing. Double check the credentials of the website by finding its security information, where they are based and what jurisdiction they fall under, and don’t underestimate the power of a quick search using the website name followed by buzz words like “rip-off”, “arrested” or “scam”.

Remember that these sites are working for you, and if you have any hesitation at all you should talk to the company or others to find out its legitimacy. If it’s a well-established and safe casino website the staff will be happy to prove so, and with the use of 128-bit encryption and data protection agreements your credit card details are just as safe online as they are off.

Photos source here and here.