As we write this, news is coming through of yet another serious data breach. Four Chinese military officers have been charged by the United States with hacking into the global credit referencing agency Equifax. It is thought that almost 150 million people in the United States have had their personal data stolen.
While the best online casinos might seem like small-fry in comparison to a truly global operation such as Equifax, that doesn’t mean that you should freely share your online information with anyone who wants it. It only takes one person to hack into your online account, and your money could be vanishing from the internet while you simply stare at it dwindling and dwindling. Online banks do all they can to prevent hacking and the theft of financial information including passwords, but what about online casino accounts?
Here is your complete guide to keep your online casino account and your financial information safe.
The number one golden rule! Licensing!
It’s 2020, so there is absolutely no one you can turn to if you play at an unlicensed casino and things go wrong. Well, you can turn to plenty of people, but the majority of them are likely to say “well, serves you right!”
Online wagering all across the globe is a regulated pastime. Gone are the days when any old online casino could pop up and ask players to deposit money and play their games. Every online casino that currently operates in the internet in a legitimate fashion has one thing in common – it has a licence.
If you are based in the UK, then that licence has to have been issued by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. If you are based in Sweden, then that licence has to have been issued by the Swedish Gambling Authority. For other jurisdictions, the number one gambling licence provider is the Malta Gaming Authority followed by licence providers in Gibraltar and Alderney.
As long as you stick with these licence providers, you should be fine. If you want to take a slighter risk, licences provided by authorities in Curaçao, Antigua & Barbuda and Kahnawake are fine too. Just make sure you never play at an unlicensed online casino.
How do you know if a casino is licensed?
You can easily check to see if a casino is licensed or not by checking the main site’s landing page footer. Usually, the footer will include details of the licence that the casino holds. Some casinos will also include links which you can click on which will then take you through to the relevant licensing authority, and indeed the licence itself.
There are a number of companies that run several online casino sites. If you find a site that says it is run by one of the following companies, then you know it is legitimate:
- Tau Marketing Services
- Leo Vegas
- Jumpman Gaming
- ASG Technologies
- Game Tech Group
If you are still not sure, look around the internet (and of course at NewCasinos.org) for reviews of the casino you are thinking of signing up for. The online casino reviews will usually tell you what licensing the casino holds, and whether it is legitimate or not. If you cannot find any reviews of a specific casino, then it is probably best that you do not sign up for it.
Keeping Yourself Safe II – You and Your Money
Naturally, if you want to gamble then you are probably doing it as a means of hopefully winning a little bit of cash (which is fine as long as you do it responsibly). To gamble with money you need to get money into your casino account, and there are several methods by which you can do this.
Here we take a look at the ways in which you can get money into your account.
Credit or Debit Cards (safety rating: 7)
If you are in the UK then you need to be aware that as of April 2020 you are not allowed to transfer money from a credit card to your online casino account.
Contrary to popular belief, online casinos do not store details of your credit or debit cards. When you make a payment online, your card number, your name and parts of your address are transmitted to your bank. If everything looks okay, then the bank okays the payment to your online casino, and your money is transferred. If your card number and other details come up pre-filled when you make a transaction, it is your browser and computer that is filling in the information, not your online casino.
Such transfers are fine but come with a risk – if your information ends up in the wrong place then your account may be hacked. However, the information that is sent is always encrypted, so if someone ends up with it then it is useless. You are much more likely to be hacked using your card to make real-world purchases, than online.
eWallets (safety rating: 9 – except PayPal: 7)
An eWallet service is an electronic means of transfering money between accounts. You can attach an eWallet account to your online casino account, then your eWallet account to your bank account. In effect, this means your eWallet acts as a buffer between your online casino account and your bank account.
If your eWallet account get hacked via your online casino account then only the money in your eWallet is at risk, and not the money in your bank account.
Bitcoin (safety rating: 10)
You can bypass banks, cards and eWallet completely by using Bitcoin. With Bitcoin you send money directly to your online casino. Such transactions are completely safe, and completely encrypted. If you want to be 100 percent sure of where your money is going to end up, then play at Bitcoin casinos.
The only issue with Bitcoin is, not every online casino will use it, and however, we have a full page exclusively for players that wish to use Cryptocurrencies.
Ari Waknine was born in Brooklyn, New York and was the founder of iGamble Group, an online gaming critique firm that helps players pick online gambling websites that fit their profile, as well as, helping them to increase their winnings. He is also the founder of NewCasinos.org, and is strictly focusing on this project making stronger and better than ever.