The United States’ first big casino, El Rancho Vegas, opened in 1941. It’s safe to say that the gambling industry has come a long way since then. Not only are there now hundreds of casinos scattered across the US, but in many states, it’s now also possible (and legal) to play online casino games in the comfort of your home. As convenient as this luxury, it comes with certain risks – especially if you don’t choose your online casino carefully.
When playing virtual games or gambling online, you need to keep yourself and your personal information protected at all times. In part one of this article, we cover the basic rules of safety when playing slots, casino table games and many other classic favorites using your PC or mobile phone. We advise how to set up secure and effective passwords and offer plenty of helpful tips and tricks to enhance your safety each step of the way, from sign-up to cash-out and everything in between. Let’s dive in!
Internet safety basics
The world of online gaming and gambling provides unlimited entertainment and excitement, but before you draw your first hand to play online poker, there are a few safety measures you need to take to protect your personal information.
Anti-virus and anti-malware software
Firstly, you must ensure that your computer is protected by anti-virus and anti-malware software. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to check that you have good anti-virus software protecting you from viruses and malicious software that could compromise your personal data or potentially destroy your computer. Installing this software (and, importantly, updating it regularly) is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you are that little bit safer when gaming online.
Security when using a shared PC
Looking to play slots online using a public computer or a shared PC? Be careful when entering personal information such as credit card details or passwords because you probably won’t know who has access to the same computer once you leave. Some sites and software will automatically save user information and passwords; this could easily be exploited by anyone who uses the computer after you. Be sure to clear any information you input and check twice (and maybe a third time) that your username and passwords aren’t saved anywhere on the desktop.
Passwords and security
Your password is the most important piece of information you have. Make it a rule to use strong passwords and try not to use the same password for multiple sites. Using a combination of upper and lower case letters as well as different numbers and characters makes your password harder to guess or figure out. The more complex and varied the combination, the stronger your password is and the safer you are from having your information or account stolen.
When creating an account on an online gambling site and deciding on a username for your profile, remember that this is what other players will see when you are playing with them. Avoid using a real name or divulging personal information that you don’t want anyone online to have access to.
Risks to be aware of
When gambling online, you have to take great care that your money and identity remain safe and secure. Here are the most important risks to be aware of when you play casino online.
Fake online casinos
These “casinos” are simply a ruse to get hold of your banking and personal details. The scary part is that they usually look professional and legitimate, making it difficult to tell a reputable digital casino from a fake casino based on aesthetics and content alone. That’s why it’s always vital to check out reviews of online casinos before signing up to one. Of course, always read the fine print (fake online casinos’ terms and conditions will almost always be full of grammatical and spelling errors) and be on the lookout for sign-up and deposit bonuses that sound too good to be true. They probably are!
Even if the casino in question is legit, it might not provide the best possible protection to its players. This can make it easy for scammers and hackers to get hold of your personal information. Once again, always read the fine print.
As already mentioned, if you are gambling online using a shared computer, there’s a chance that your personal and financial details could fall into the wrong hands. Take the precautions as explained above to safeguard yourself or consider playing casino games using your mobile phone instead.
Site verification and fairness
Not all casino and gambling sites are trustworthy, but it can be difficult to separate those from legitimate ones. So you’ll need to do a little extra research to ensure that the site you want to use is secure, safe, legal and fair.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can tell if a website is trustworthy. Here are five of the most common safeguards to look for to help you get started:
1. Data encryption
Casinos use data encryption to turn any information you send into unbreakable strings of code. This is the same method of encryption that banks use, so it’s generally reliable. Always remember not to share any information with any online casino or gambling site which does not encrypt your data.
2. Random Number Generators (RNG)
Casinos use RNG to steer the outcome of the various casino games. This is a way of creating fairness in the games as well as preventing them from being “hackable.” There are third-party companies that test the RNGs of casinos to make sure that they are fair. These companies will typically award the casino a badge for their site, so look out for this badge on any site you visit.
3. Privacy policies
Privacy policies are those massive walls of text you run into whenever you sign up for a service or an online account. Although they are usually skimmed over or not read at all, they are incredibly important and shouldn’t be dismissed or ignored because this is where the company is legally bound to reveal how they plan to use your information. Stick to casinos that state explicitly that they will not sell or rent your information in any way. This way, you know that your information is protected by legal safeguards.
4. Casino terms and conditions
5. Gaming licenses
Just as with a brick-and-mortar casino, any online casino that wants to legally “open its doors” to the public needs a gaming license. Most online casinos post the commission that issued their license somewhere on the front page of their website, so look out for this when considering an online casino. Make sure to check that the commission which issued the license actually exists, that it is reputable and that it is official.
Protect Your Information
The most crucial aspect of staying safe online can never be repeated too often: do not reveal your username or password to anyone on any website. Ever. Be extremely careful about what information you reveal about yourself and your account when talking to other players. In part two of this article, we’ll tell you more about how you can best protect your personal information.
Discover the best casino games at BetMGM
When you want the best casino games to play at home and enjoy 100% peace of mind as far as your safety and security are concerned, look no further than BetMGM. Our system is state-of-the-art and one of the safest online, protected by one of the most advanced firewalls in the world – which is why we boast thousands of sign-ups and members, including many celebrity gamblers. We work with the most qualified security advisors in the world to constantly upgrade our systems, always ensuring that both your and our data is fully protected.
If you feel ready to dive into the exciting world of online gambling and you want to try the best online slots, casino table games and live dealer casino games in a safe and secure environment, then feel free to register via our mobile portal.