- Simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of having your personal details stolen
- Choose a reputable casino that makes it easy to enjoy gambling in a secure environment
You could be forgiven for thinking that social engineering might refer to careful networking at a party, or choosing your friendship groups based on how influential they are. Instead, social engineering is all about the manipulation of your private information – information that can prove lucrative in less than trustworthy hands.
As technology progresses, so does the ability for individuals and organisations to use it in their favour, in ways which can cause immense problems for you on the web. The following tips will help you stay vigilant to such threats and actively protect yourself so you can enjoy worry-free online gambling.
So what is social engineering exactly?
Software and virus protection goes a long way to protecting you when playing at the online casino but there’s a gap in the net that allows a certain type of threat to pass through: humans.
Darn those trouble making humans.
Social engineering uses a mixture of technical hacking and personal infiltration, the emphasis being on the latter, to gather personal, confidential information that’s dangerous in the wrong hands.
Aimed at individuals, groups, organisations and businesses, the target spectrum can be wide and the attackers can be very convincing at impersonation. A social engineer might phone, message or email you under the guise of someone entirely trustworthy and convince you to give out info like your date of birth, address, PIN number or passwords.
They might try to gain access to your tech in person or to use an external storage method on your computer like a USB drive or memory card. Or they might use social media and networking sites to contact you or find out more about who you are.
Once they have this kind of data, they can use it to get into your bank or e-payment accounts as well as buying a load of stuff with your credit or debit cards (side note – it’s best to use credit rather than debit cards online, as your level of protection is far superior in the event of fraudulent activity or a company going bust).
How can social engineering be prevented?
Never give out personal details. If you receive a call, verify the caller ID, if you receive an email, verify the sender is legit. But still, never give out personal details, especially PIN numbers and passwords.
Be careful what you post on social media: use restrictions and limit who can see what and who has access to your accounts. A harmless picture of your pet could hint toward your password and naming family members could provide a social engineer with ammunition to feign familiarity or the key to your mother’s maiden name (a regularly used security question).
It’s always best to stick to well-known, safe and secure websites, recommended and vetted by those in the know. When you’re looking for a casino, check if it has the Casinopedia seal of approval.
A good casino will have a section dedicated to explaining their security measures and should have a SSL certificate too, meaning they use Secure Sockets Layer encryption. This ensures that third parties can’t access any of the personal data you provide.
Choose logins and passwords that won’t give the game away
Once you begin the registration process you’ll need to supply a login and password. Make sure your login doesn’t include any personal info like your name, birth date, address or sections of your password.
For your password, ensure this is unique from any others you might use, complex (include numbers, letters and special characters) and ideally that it’s changed regularly.
Your computer, phone or tablet will offer to store your password for you, but do so at your peril; cached details run the risk of being infiltrated, especially if one of your devices is lost or stolen. The value of stolen technology now lies in the information stored within, rather than the item’s physical worth.
Yes, it’s a pain to remember a hundred different passwords and disconnected login names, but it’s the price we pay for the ridiculous levels of convenience we enjoy in the cyber-now. A password manager might be an idea – that way you only have one strong password to remember. Losing cash on a slot is one thing, but losing it to a cyber-shark is incredibly frustrating and potentially destructive.
It’s always worth clearing your winnings as soon as you can too; anything stored online carries an element of risk, so it’s a great excuse to spend your bounty or invest it elsewhere if you’re the sensible type. While there may be more risks on the web than ever, there’s also much more awareness, so the key is to stay savvy.
Choosing the right online casino
If you’re new to the world of online gambling and unsure where to start in terms of finding a safe casino website, stick to one or many of the ones in our extensive list. That way, not only will you have peace of mind about your online security, you’ll have a top-notch gambling experience too.
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