Online gambling is a popular leisure activity enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. In the USA, a shake-up of regulations in 2017 saw sports betting legalized in many states allowing citizens access to the first legal sportsbooks in Philadelphia, PA and many other locations. This opened the doors to other forms of gambling, and once the legislation and regulatory body were established, online casino gameplay became available to the citizens of Pennsylvania in 2019.
Staying Safe Online
Staying safe when using online casinos and sports betting is the same no matter where you are. In PA, there are regulated, legal sites, so the first piece of advice is to play at one of those. This means they have met all the criteria for safety and legality of the regulatory body, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Each regulated site will display its registration number and certificate of authenticity. If you have any concerns, you can check with the PGCB before committing any personal information or money. This means you have addressed the first big concern and can be confident you are using a safe and legitimate company that complies with the rules.
Use Secure Wi-Fi
One of the great things about online gambling is 24/7 access, with most casinos and bookmakers offering apps so you can access your account on the move. This is fine, but the concern is the Wi-Fi connection you are using. At home, you are paying for a private connection, and if you are using data on your device, this is also secure. The problem comes when you access sites via public Wi-Fi. As helpful as this is, when you run out of data, it is not safe, and when you are carrying out activities such as gambling, you are leaving your data open to hacking. If you must use a public Wi-Fi connection, invest in a VPN that gives the best protection under the circumstances. For the safest experience, stick to your home Wi-Fi or data.
Update Your Antivirus
It should be standard to have antivirus software installed on your computer or phone currently. There are many security updates pushed out with operating system updates, so be sure you install them as soon as they are prompted – don’t be one of those people who clicks ‘install later’ for weeks on end. You should also empty your cache regularly and ensure your passwords are secure. This means using random strings of letters, numbers, and special characters, not your mother’s maiden name or child’s date of birth.
Use 2FA or Login Notifications.
Although it takes a little longer to log in, you should use 2-factor authentication and login notifications whenever they are offered. This is something that the regulated sites should be offering as standard good practice. When you log in, you are notified and asked for a further confirmation code, which might be frustrating, but it also serves as an alert if someone else is trying to access your account. The fact that they cannot access the code that is sent directly to you should stop them but be sure to log in and change your password if this happens because it has clearly been compromised.
Finally, Stay Quiet
Security experts always advise people to keep a low profile online when it comes to money and winnings. It might be tempting to post your delight at winning on your social media accounts, but this can lead to unwanted attention from strangers and family members. So, if you are lucky enough to win big, keep the celebrations modest and limited to your nearest and dearest.