The gaming industry has over time become one of the fastest growing industries on the planet. Security has always been a key issue for most online sites. For instance, those carrying out online gambling in the USA found at online-gambling.com/us/ are always assured of their safety and privacy online. A common trait among online gaming companies is seen in how they are always collecting personal information from consumers to help them tailor and make possible their multiplayer experiences. As such gaming profiles are also always linked to popular social networks. Consequently, this industry’s market size and popularity has made it an ideal target for cybercrime in form of privacy invasion, stealing user information, malicious content and malware. The incorporation of online models and pay as you play models where players use real money have made this industry quite vulnerable. And as such, steps need to be taken to ensure data privacy and security.
The Online Gambling Industry is A Prime Example
Why do games collect personal user information
Before accessing gaming services, you are usually asked to avail some personal information to help set up your account. Usually, you will be asked for your name, a mail address, email address and date of birth. In some cases, players are asked for additional payment info to make in-game purchases possible. They will also collect geographical information to help link players in the same zone and provide specific services.
With online gambling, age is a necessary requirement to ensure players are of legal gambling age. They are also expected to make a deposit that is usually followed with availing your financial credentials to make payment easier. Such information is quit critical as in the wrong hands, in this case cyber criminals, it could be used to defraud or launch malicious attacks hence the need to protect player privacy online.
Safeguards to protect players privacy in the online gambling industry
The dangers with lack of privacy while collecting user data and personal information range from credit card fraud, identity theft to cyber-attacks on gambling companies. One such danger happened a while back when hackers stole payment card data from more than 700 Wawa outlets. Therefore, online gambling companies put in place various safeguards to help them protect the vast amount of user data collected from their clients as seen in this article.
For casinos to operate, they are expected to have a gaming license. With offline casinos the procedure for licensing is quite strict and rigorous. These gaming authorities and licensing commissions ensure a casinos legitimacy, safety and fairness before they give them their license. They also continue checking on the licensed casino to make sure they are maintaining acceptable standards if not better and determine if they still deserve the licences. However, licensing with online casinos is different from that of land based casinos. This has in some cases left margin for error due to laxity among some licensing companies. This means it is advisable for players to know these companies so as to keep an eye on poorly licensed casinos. Online casinos usually list who licensed them at the bottom of the casino website. Licensing authorities also have websites where they list their licensed clients and those whose licenses have been stripped. This shows that licensing is a quick way to determine a casinos fairness and security.
Casinos usually collect large amounts of personal user data and need to keep it safe. To do so, they use 128 bit or 256 bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, which is quite secure and is even used by banks for network security and data transfer. When any money transfer information is sent over the internet it is encrypted using SSL encryption. Only the receiver of the information can decrypt the code and receive the money transferred. An unauthorized third party wouldn’t be able to access the information even if they intercepted it. This security is usually ensured by the licensing company to ensure player privacy protection. Players can tell their casino is using some form of encryption by looking at the toolbar. If the website name has an “https” prefix, then it has a SSL certificate which means your information is encrypted. These encryptions are also usually updated frequently to maintain highest levels of data security.
Firewalls and Server Security
Online casinos usually go to great lengths to protect the servers containing their users’ personal information. This is done by installing powerful firewalls along with strong physical security at the server locations. Access to servers and servers’ locations is also limited and documented so as to prevent and monitor unauthorized access
How do players ensure their own privacy and security?
- During sign up, players are advised to go through the required account details to see if what they are required to input are actually necessary. This usually includes your name, email address and birth date. Regular gamers should have dedicated email addresses for their gaming to protect their credentials, verification information and address books for banking and social media.
- Players are also advised to avoid using their gaming credentials to log in to other third party software or sites.
- It is also not advisable to link your credit or debit cards to gaming accounts and if you have to then regularly review your bank statements to avoid getting swindled y checking for purchases that are not verified.
- Players can also install reliable software security to protect them from malware and malicious links.
- Setting up air-tight privacy controls is another way to protect your personal information. This includes setting up strong passwords, disabling eternal links such as microphones and cameras when not in use, using multifactor authentication and giving minimal personal information.
- Players are also advised to avoid logging in with their credentials from public, shared or unsecured devices and should remember to log out when they do.
When can gaming companies share your personal information?
In some cases, gaming companies may broadly share your personal information with licensed third parties. They may give this information in special instances such as:
- To comply with the law or a legal order
- To enable communication among gamers
- In order to monitor disruptive traits by gamers
- To help them resolve service problems
- To provide users with personalized promotional info and advertising
- To aid in further game developments
- To ensure payment for services rendered
Some of these third parties may be:
- Individual Contracted programmers
- Online hosting services
- Marketing teams
- Law enforcement agencies
- Financial entities
- Internet Service providers
- Customer support, call centers and technical teams
While the online gambling industry has gone to great lengths to ensure protection for their consumers, there is much more that can be done on both ends. Both players and the casinos have a role to play here as seen in the article. Data security is a vital part of online gaming and as such security measures and safeguards are a necessity. Therefore, you can benefit from the following most important cyber security tips for your users.