Online casinos have been steadily growing in popularity over the last few years. Unlike their land-based counterparts, they offer instant and easy access to a wide variety of games which is perfect for the modern life where leisure time is sadly limited. The development of mobile technology has also meant that they can be accessed from anywhere, letting players make use of commutes, waiting times, and lunch breaks to grab a welcome few minutes of relaxation. Online casinos are especially popular amongst younger generations, with statistics showing that those aged 25-34 are the most active players.
Experts are predicting that this upwards trend will continue over the next few years so it seems like online casinos are more than just a passing fad. There are sites that specialize in certain games, like online slots or bingo, while others continue to offer the whole range of games which you would expect to find in any casino. Different themes and different games are designed to appeal to a range of players, as are many of the introductory bonuses offered as a reward for signing up. The challenge is, with everything that’s been in the news about GDPR requirements and data leaks, how can you be sure that using an online casino is safe?
The good news is that all the good online casinos take security very seriously. The advantage of a saturated marketplace is that those that want to stay in business need to make their customers feel safe, or they’ll simply go elsewhere. There are numerous agencies, departments, and programs working away behind the scene to make sure that your details are kept securely. In the UK, the main agency is the Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC is responsible for granting licenses to online casinos who want to open their doors to UK players. Playing at a licensed casino offers players added protection in case of a dispute because they will have the UKGC scrutinizing the complaint process and making sure that the casinos act fairly. You are far more likely to have issues withdrawing funds or claiming earned bonuses with an unlicensed, rogue site.
Other independent agencies are responsible for auditing the sites to make sure that their games are all fair and that the casino is storing player’s money securely. Some unsafe casinos will rig the games so that players cannot win back their money, so when choosing a site, look for an auditor’s logo on the home page. One example is eCOGRA who are the leading testing agency based in the UK.
All online casinos require their players to create accounts and log in every time they want to play. Having a secure, encrypted login system is another way that online casinos work to keep your details safe. This is most commonly done by purchasing an SSL certificate, which uses encryption keys to make sure that any data transmitted is encrypted to protect it from hackers. A site without an SSL certificate will save your password and bank details on its servers, but an encrypted site will save encrypted versions of the data, which are useless to hackers. You can tell if a site is using an encrypted login because there will be a padlock symbol in the URL bar of your web browser.
Many online casinos, as well as other websites that store sensitive data, are now offering two-step authentication. When a login is attempted, the site will send you a one-time code to input to prove that it is you. So even if your password had been stolen, the hackers would not be able to access your account and steal any financial data stored there.
Paying for things online has changed a lot over the last decade. Where sites used to require you to manually type in your debit or credit card details, there are now a huge variety of options that are quicker and safer. Online wallets and payment gateways will store your bank account details in one place, and you can then enter their details when making a deposit. This means that the online casino will never have your financial information and all transactions between the site and your choice of payment provider will be secure and encrypted.
Keeping you safe also means making sure that you stay in control of how much money you are spending. Online casinos will do this by giving you the option to set deposit limits or take a self-imposed time out period if you think you’ve been playing too much. The UKGC works hard to ensure that online casinos encourage their users to play responsibly, and it’s part of the prerequisites for being assigned a license.
There are many checks put in place to hold online casinos to account and help them to operate in a safe and secure manner. From government agencies to digital encryption software, and even in-house anti-fraud teams who make sure that all employees are following guidelines, there are plenty of reasons to have confidence that your details are being stored and looked after properly. High profile data breaches can make everyone panic when they see them in the headlines, but the reality is that millions of people use online casinos safely on a daily basis and the sites licensed to operate in the UK have earned the trust of their users by investing in safe storage methods. With the UKGC and independent auditing agencies also on their side, customers should feel completely satisfied that their data is safe.