Players’ Responsibilities for Secure Online Gambling

Published on: November 11, 2011 

Most of the players’ concerns are focused on what online casinos are doing to ensure a secure gaming environment. They do not realize that they may be the weak link in the chain. Online casinos are run by professionals. They are audited by the licensors and other independent agencies. They do everything possible to ensure that no one hacks into their systems or intercepts their financial transactions. Often players do not exercise the same vigilance, whether out of ignorance or lethargy. This article outlines certain important steps online casino players should take by force of habit. These steps will help them in their other online transactions as well.

Today every computer and laptop must have anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed. These prevent third parties from encroaching on the players’ hardware and stealing their passwords. Equally important is keeping the anti-virus software current by installing the latest updates. The software should be set to automatically run scans daily. If the anti-virus software reports an attack it should not be ignored, but the recommended action should be immediately taken. All downloads, including online casino software, have to be done with the anti-virus software enabled and functioning.

Most online casino players are lethargic about passwords. They wager at a number of online casinos using the same password. This password may be common with their other activities as well. Using the same password across multiple sites is dangerous. If the password is stolen from a less secure site then all the online casinos and other secure sites also get compromised. Hence it is essential to have different passwords for different sites. Another piece of advice that is often ignored is periodically changing the password. Generally this should be done at least every 90 days.

The suppliers of browsers keep upgrading their product. The upgrades also include the latest security technologies. Hence wagering with an old browser implies that the security guards are not the best available. It is therefore important to upgrade the browser as and when new versions are released. It is a prudent practice to always “Sign out” from any web site. Most online casinos automatically sign out players but if a sign out button is available then it should be used. As an added precaution it is advised that players clear their browser history including cache after use. It is suicide to wager from a public computer, but if one has done that it is all the more important to remove the tracks.

During holidays players may be wagering for longer hours and would find it convenient to leave their computers on even when not in use. This is against recommended practice, which advises players to log off and shut down computers when not in use. Cyber criminals search for “always on” computers because such unattended systems are softer targets. Minimizing the time computers are connected to the Internet reduces the risk of being hacked.

Some players may have private wireless routers installed in their homes. These routers can become a weak link in the security chain if not properly addressed. Online casino players must ensure that their routers are secured using at least WPA2 security encryption.

Finally players must be alert to phishing scams. Online casinos will never ask players to provide credit card or any other personal information through e-mails. They will ask such information to be entered at their secured web sites. E-mails asking for such information are hoaxes. The fraudsters are experts at replicating e-mail addresses and even web sites. Such e-mails should be immediately deleted and never replied to nor forwarded.

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