It’s been a hectic few days for tech departments and IT security firms around the world. The WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack, which first began to infect the estimated 200,000 computer devices worldwide on Friday, has been a devastating example of how rogue software programs can bring huge organisations to their knees.
For some, it’s a stark reminder of how detrimental and vulnerable we are to technological attacks, as the WannaCry ransomware struck the Windows operating system that is widely used across the globe (see the video below).
Ransomware has been a growing problem for many years now. For anyone who’s unaware, it is a malicious tool that installs itself onto an infected computer, encrypts the documents and files found on the hard drive before demanding payment for them to be unlocked. It’s particularly crushing for users as it’s unlikely they’ll ever see those files again – as even succumbing to the threats by paying the ransom fee is often ignored by the culprits.
So, this timely reminder of how important internet security is draws us to online casino entertainment. While we, of course, advocate for our readers to have the proper defences in place to prevent software attacks (including installing your Windows Updates!), it’s equally important for us to reinforce the idea of online casino security.
Rogue gambling operators are known to roam our web servers due to the explosion of the iGaming industry in recent times, so it seems particularly poignant to give you a few tips and tricks on how to minimise your chances of being scammed at this time of heightened malware security.
A Few Crucial Checkpoints that Credible Online Casinos Should Pass
Just like checking to see whether an emails attachment is trustworthy or not, there are a few standard checks you should make when choosing your next online casino platform. The first is obvious – their gaming license which allows them to operate. More and more European countries are beginning to establish quality internet gambling authorities, and it is these organisations’ priority to ensure nothing illegal is taking place.
At Netent Casino, we ideally like a casino to have either a UK, Maltese or other EU member state gaming license. Many of you avid readers will be quick to point out that we have a fair few with Curacao certifications instead. Previously, this gaming license was swamped with bad press due to poor gamer protection and support, although this improved markedly in recent times. Furthermore, many encounters that players and Curacao casinos share come off without a hitch – but it’s always a plus point for our reviews if they’re certified by an EU country.
Next up, you want to ensure a fair playing field we presume. Well, reliable internet casinos will submit their games for regular checks for impartiality. NetEnt’s slots and games use RNG (random number generator) technology to determine a 100% clean outcome, so be sure to play games by a respected provider too.
Finally, online gambling requires you to hand over sensitive information such as personal details and payment information. Just like you’d be wary of signing up to a dodgy looking e-commerce website, the same can be applied for casinos. Crucially, they should have some form of encryption in place when handling data transfers, while any information they keep needs to have proper safeguards in place.
Should I Be Worried About Ransomware at Online Casinos?
Although ransomware, and WannaCry in particular, are the talk of town at the moment, these nasty little programs shouldn’t be of grave concern with regards to individual gamers playing casino online. In many virus/malware cases, a file needs to be inadvertently downloaded for the damage to start. As many casinos allow you to play simply using your browser, this shouldn’t be an issue for you personally as long as you’re playing at a credible internet casino.
Again, though, you need to wary of rogue websites. The majority of issues that gamers have revolve around unpaid winnings, stolen deposits, the confiscation of bonuses and other money-related grievances. That said, if you’re ever asked to download apps for both computers and mobile casino devices then this may well become more of an issue. Again, the best advice we can give is to always go with a trusted source.
What to Do if You Think You’ve Been Scammed When Gambling on the Internet
First thing to note is that contacting the relevant gaming authority should only be done as a last resort. We appreciate that it may not be the most enjoyable thing to do, but first you should endeavour to resolve the issue with the casino itself. If this doesn’t work out, there are a number of independent bodies who specialise in non-payments, delays, suspended accounts and the rest. These should be found on the casino’s website.
While reporting it to the necessary authorities, Netent Casino would also greatly appreciate being informed about any rogue casino behaviour using our Contact Us page. You can also submit a complaint about a casino found on our website by viewing their review page and clicking “File a Casino Complaint”, under the star rating. Just think, you could be saving someone else the stress of your situation further down the line!
What to Do if You Think You’re Computer is Infected with Malware
If you believe your computer or mobile to be infected with a virus, you should seek professional help as soon as possible. Please be aware that an infected device isn’t just unsuitable for your online casino needs, but everything you use it for.
With Bitcoin in the Spotlight Again for all the Wrong Reasons, Are Bitcoin Casinos Safe?
One aspect of ransomware that gets everyone talking is that payment demands are often done using bitcoin. The media then often run multiple stories about how this cryptocurrency is dangerous, deceitful and not to be cared for – but if used legitimately then it’s perfectly legal and useful.
While we’ve been preaching internet casino security to you throughout this article, it’s perhaps no more apparent than when choosing a genuine bitcoin casino. It’s still early days for these platforms in our industry, and bitcoin’s anonymous characteristic makes it especially important for you to do your casino research BEFORE signing up.
However, while you may hear and read a lot on the contrary as WannaCry ransomware’s fallout continues over the next few weeks and months, bitcoin itself is perfectly fine to use and presents many advantages for online casino players if used appropriately.