How to protect yourself when registering at an online casino
Before you sign up at any online casino, there are a couple of things you should be keeping an eye out for. First and foremost, you need to be sure that the internet connection you are using is trusted and secure. Is your wireless router protected? If not, protect it with a key and username. We do not recommend signing up to casinos on open networks, such as those at pubs, restaurants or elsewhere in public. Always use a secure connection (ideally your home network) to register at online casinos.
While doing that, we’d advise you to check out the security situation when you make a deposit, too. You will need to ensure that you have security on your PC. The green encryption logo (HTTPS) in the top left-hand corner of your browser should tell you if a site is secure and encrypted. Never proceed with a deposit unless it is. Again, use your homework network to do this, not a public one.
Does your casino have KYC protocols? KYC stands for Know Your Customer. This is a system whereby the casino will contact players and ask them to provide proof that they are who they say there are. This can be done after sign-up (which is easiest) or before a withdrawal. Although it seems invasive, we would recommend that you go through this procedure, since it assures the casino that you are who you say you are, and that nobody else opens an account and using your details in your name.
If you want to cover yourself, you can also choose to set up wagering limits when you register at a casino. This forms just one other safety step which you can take to enjoy safe online casino gaming.
What to look out for when searching for a secure online casino
If you are doing to decide for yourself where you wish to play, you need to ask yourself, are online casinos safe? The best way to find out if they are is by checking out a list of possible things to look for. We’ve put together just the sort of list you need right here.
- Licensed: Is the casino you are looking at licensed? If not, you cannot be sure that it is a safe online casino. A casino licensed out of a respectable licensing jurisdiction must obey the rules and regulations of that jurisdiction, and this means offering fair play gaming to players. You can often find this info via the casino’s lobby page.
- Audited: Is your chosen casino audited? Ideally, you want to make sure that your casino is regularly inspected by independent auditors, to ensure that it complies with the newest rules regarding fair play and safety. Again, any casino which is audited will tell you that, and they will also bear certifications which state that their RNGs (random number generators) have passed inspection and that they are certified for fair play.
- History: You can also look at many casino review sites, such as ours. If a casino doesn’t fit the bill or has a lengthy track record for unprofessional, unfair or downright theft-like behaviour, then many people will have reported that. Positive reviews don’t always mean a casino is tip-top either, though, since there is a chance that somebody was paid by the casino to produce a positive review. It is worth noting that there are blacklists out there, too (we have one, for instance) which tell players where not to play. Blacklisted and rogue casinos should be avoided at all costs, as they have a proven track record of being dodgy places to play.
If the casino you are thinking of playing at has passed all those tests with flying colours, there are still a few hoops you can make it jump through to determine if it is a safe online casino.
Casino game third-party verification at safe online casinos
It is always advisable to read the terms and conditions at an online casino. Yes, we know that this is tedious, but if you really want to do the homework for yourself, it is necessary. Ordinarily, we do this for you with our reviews and recommended casinos. Two of them include wagering requirements (which we will come to in a moment or two) and third-party issues.
You don’t want your information shared with anyone outside of the casino. Some casinos will state in the terms and conditions that they want to share your information with a third-party. Perhaps this is the software provider of their games, or perhaps it is a government agency. It could also be an advertising company. Either way, if the terms and conditions state that, and you aren’t happy with it, the casino is not ideal for you.
Third-party verification is not the same, though, and this can be useful. What this involves is the casino asking another person to verify that you are who you say you are. This process (which may fall as part of the KYC protocols) allows the casino to be sure that everything is legit and above board. If you want a safe place to play, there is no reason to be against this process.
However, back to those other “third-party” rules for a second. The major incidents seen with Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and other companies over the last year has seen numerous rules and regulations behind data protection and third-party information change dramatically in 2018. The chances are that most casinos will now have to dictate everything they ask for, pass on and store very carefully, so do read the terms and conditions before you decide to sign-up for anything.
Mobile casino safety
It can be very tempting to use free connections. Let us say that you’re having some lunch at McDonalds, and you fancy a quick spin on the slots. You would be tempted to use their free Wi-Fi connection to play, right? Don’t. These connections are perhaps not as secure as you think, and if somebody has hacked into them, they can potentially obtain not just your username and password, but possibly your bank details, too. If you’re going to enjoy a spot of mobile gaming, always use your own internet connection, which will likely come from your contract.
At the same time, there are other things you can do to ensure that your mobile casino gaming experience is a safe one. Don’t lend people your phone. They could use that information to change and/or copy your sensitive data. At the same time, you shouldn’t really allow kids to play games on your phone, either. If you have downloaded a casino app, they may be tempted to use it, mistaking it for a game. You could find yourself in quite deep financial trouble, especially if you have a one-touch method for payment on the mobile casino app.
Safe online casino payouts
Earlier, we mentioned wagering requirements. These can often be found in the terms and conditions sections of casinos. However, they should also be clearly identifiable on a promotion or bonus you plan on claiming. A good casino worth their salt will make the wagering requirements of any promotion you plan to claim clearly visible. Those that shy away from publishing them should be avoided.
It isn’t just high wagering requirements which can send alarm bells ringing. There are other signs of unprofessionalism, too, and these can all indicate that you are not playing at a safe online casino. If you find a distinct lack of payment methods at a casino, you need to ask yourself why. Sometimes, casinos deliberately offer very few payment methods and then ramp up the cost of using the methods they do carry. Payment methods with high transactions fees and lengthy transaction times should be avoided. There are plenty of safe casinos out there which offer free deposit methods and fast withdrawal times.
At the same time, you should have a look at withdrawal limits. If a casino limits your withdrawals to just a few thousand dollars a month, there could be an issue. Some casinos won’t even pay progressive jackpots out in one lump sum, instead opting to do it over several years. These are not good casinos to play at. A casino has no qualms about taking vast sums of money from you in deposits, so they should equally have no qualms about letting you take your winnings away, either.
Online security FAQs
Every player has questions, and some of them are far more common than you think. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding online security at casino sites.
A bit of tricky question. Most are, some aren’t. By using the criteria listed above, or choosing one of our recommended casinos, you can assure yourself of a safe place to play your favourite games.
How do I know if my internet connection is secure?
If anybody can use your internet connection without a username and password, then it is not secure.
What are the ideal wagering requirements at safe casinos?
Ordinarily, we would say that the industry standard is 40x or lower. If a casino has wagering requirements higher than that, they are having a laugh.
Can a casino be licensed and still be unsafe?
Absolutely. There are ample casinos out there which are licensed out of Costa Rica and Curacao, for instance, which are blacklisted and rogue casinos. Each licensing jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations. The UK, Maltese and Gibraltar licensed are considered the best. Those out of Curacao and Costa Rica are a bit laxer, so the casinos can get away with more. However, that doesn’t mean that Curacao casinos cannot be trusted by any means. Hundreds of Curacao licensed casinos exist which are amongst the safest and most popular places to play casino games online.
Is there any other way to find a safe online casino?
Yes. The chances are that if you choose to play at a casino which regularly features in television commercials, bus-stop billboards, magazine advertisements or the like, that they will be a safe and secure place to play.
Play at one of our safe and secure online casinos
If you’ve found a casino which meets all the requirements we’ve mentioned above, then it could be worth a look. However, we still recommend that you take a look at our casino reviews and choose to play at one of our recommended casinos. These all have our seal of approval for being safe and secure online casinos.