The online gambling industry in the UK has gone from strength to strength over the past decade, which is good news for gambling fans. It is also good news for those with criminal interests like scammers who are ready to pounce on vulnerable players that don’t know how to protect themselves online.
Whether you play bingo, slots or simply place sports bets online you need to know how to look after yourself and protect your personal data. In this article, we’ll cover a range of tips that will help you in doing just that.
If you were in the process of changing your energy supplier, looking for a new quote on car insurance or just contemplating a big purchase, you would be wise to do your research and shop around. It should be no different when choosing a company to gamble online with.
You will be spending money with this supplier for a protracted period of time so it’s absolutely vital to do your research and make sure you can trust the company you go with. Here is a quick checklist of things to look out for initially when deciding on a gambling provider:
- Customer Support: How likely are you to receive the help that you need when a problem arises? Is the company customer-focused or profit-focused? Will your business be valued?
- Reputation: What are gamblers saying about this company? Are they an established force in the industry?
- Reviews: What are some of the most common gripes raised by reviewers? Do these negatives matter to you and your gaming style?
- Safety: What is their safety rating? Can you trust them with your money? Have they been hacked recently?
- Value: Is it worth going with this company in the long run? Are their offers as enticing as they could be? Do their odds represent good value for money?
If you’re short on time and not the researching type, make sure you at least pick a trusted provider. If you’re a sports betting fan, go for a trusted industry name like 888 Sport who are renowned for their reliable betting site.
2. Understand Security Features
Have you ever noticed that small padlock to the left of your URL bar? Do you know what it means? Do you know why it’s there? You should be able to answer those questions fairly easily and if you can’t, it’s time to get cyber-savvy.
That padlock indicates a secure communication channel between the browser and the server on which the website is hosted. Essentially it’s a good indication that the website you are on is secure and if you don’t see that icon, you shouldn’t enter your personal data or financial details.
For more tips on how to remain cyber aware and how to understand online security features, take a look at this guide from the National Cyber Security Centre.
(Padlocks keep things safe in real life and online too.)
3. Look After Yourself
Would you leave your car unlocked in a new neighbourhood with your wallet perched perfectly on the dashboard? Not likely! Well, if you sign up with an online casino, save your debit card details on record and protect your account with a flimsy password like “United10” or “Rex1” that’s effectively what you’re doing.
You are making it easy for scammers and hackers to get into your accounts and steal your sensitive personal data. When signing up with a new gambling company – or any online company for that matter – make sure you protect your account with a strong and hard-to-guess password.
The best are those that combine random numbers, letters and special characters. If you can back up your account with two-factor authentication, then that’s even better!
4. Familiarise Yourself with Scams
Just like fashion and music, the world of internet scamming has its own unique trends. Try and keep up with them by taking a little bit of time every few weeks to read up on the latest tricks that fraudsters are using to scam people out of their money.
In doing this you’ll make sure that you’re up to date with all the latest sneaky little tricks that fraudsters are using and put yourself in a good position to avoid them.
(Hackers and fraudsters follow trends, make sure you know which are popular right now.)
5. Spending Limits
If you think that you’re the type of person that will struggle with self-control when it comes to gambling online, take that worry out of your hands. Choose a provider that allows you to set and manage personal spending limits.
That way you’ll very rarely get into the dangerous situation of chasing your losses and throwing good money after bad.
Finally, though, remember to have fun. Online gambling needn’t be a scary thing, just keep your wits about you and you’ll have a great time.