The average online consumer is now paying more attention to the concept of online security than ever before. Not only are we facing a growing number of virtual threats in terms of hacking and fraud, but the loss of important personal information can present very real problems. While these issues were normally associated with major data breaches and multinational firms at one point, individuals should be just as concerned.
This is just as relevant when discussing the online gaming community. However, the good news is that reputable portals have a host of options at their disposal. One extremely effective method involves encryption. How exactly does encryption work? What information can it protect? What steps can fans of online gaming take to ensure that they are dealing with a trustworthy website? Let us clarify each of these questions in more detail.
Encryption is essentially a fancy way of describing any process which scrambles data before it is sent between two or more parties. Interestingly enough, these techniques have been used since ancient times. Important documents in Egypt, China and Rome were often “coded” in such a way as to render their contents unreadable to anyone who did not possess a key.
The only major difference is that the technology involved has come a long way since the days of ancient Egypt. Modern techniques now utilise highly advanced algorithms which can scramble gigabytes or even terabytes of information within seconds. Without a decryption code, this data will remain permanently hidden and it is nearly impossible to retrieve. So, how do these principles apply to the virtual gaming sector?
Anyone who visits a quality online casino will normally examine important features such as the number of games that are offered, the types of bonuses, the payout structure, and any potential jackpots. However, a lesser-known variable should also be present. This comes in the form of a padlock symbol located immediately to the left of the URL address (at the top of the browser).
This padlock signifies that the site in question is using advanced encryption technology. Therefore, clients an remain confident in the fact that their details will remain behind closed (digital) doors at all times. This includes point-of-sale pages, live streaming connections and any emails that happen to be sent between multiple parties. This is also why it is normally best to avoid any gaming portal that does not display such a symbol. There are likewise times when users will be alerted that the site itself is not secure.
We need to remember that online gaming sites such as casinos will send and receive incredible amounts of data. This is when more relevant when referring to those which offer live dealers or dedicated mobile phone applications. In order to handle such volumes, two methods of encryption can be used. These are known as SSL and AES.
SSL is an abbreviation for Secure Sockets Layer. This approach involves the use of two “keys”. One of these is used by the sender and the other is used by the recipient (in this case, the player). If either of these keys is not present, the data cannot be decoded.
AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard. While the ultimate goal of this protocol is the same as SSL, there is one notable difference. AES does not use two different keys. It instead employs a single key; the same key that was used to initially encrypt the information. If there is even one error within the key, all information will be rendered useless.
So, we can see that both types of encryption protocols offer a host of unique advantages. There are still some other steps which players can take in order to guarantee that their information never falls into the wrong hands. Some of these include:
- Avoiding the use of public wireless hotspots when accessing the Internet in general.
- Working with casinos that have partnered with well-known gaming software developers.
- Never sharing usernames or passwords with anyone; even friends or family members.
- Determining how many points of contact the virtual casino offers in the event of a question or an issue.
Thankfully, well-known online casinos have gone to great lengths to ensure that their clients are protected within the digital domain. In fact, some of the very same encryption technology that these portals use is also leveraged by banks and similar financial institutions.
Although security protocols often take place “behind the scenes”, their impact is very real. Players should therefore appreciate the efforts that online gaming portals are taking, as these help to protect their personal information 24 hours a day.