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For centuries the global economy has been powered by oil, the most powerful and vital commodity on the planet. Throughout those centuries oil has sparked wars, informed foreign and domestic policy and helped to establish countries as superpowers. In the modern day though there is now one commodity much more valuable than oil, and it is a surprising one – data.
In our modern economies, there is nothing more valuable than data; it is what is used by major companies to advertise to us and power the economy. This has questioned how companies can protect your personal data and steer clear of the threat of fraud when you play your favourite online casino game on your phone, tablet or PC.
Through AI learning companies such as Amazon and Google have studied our browsing habits and shopping habits to create accurate algorithms that can predict our future spending habits across various apps.
These insights are then sold to the relevant companies who hit us with perfectly-timed adverts for that patio heater we’re looking for or that new car we’ve been thinking about.
With all of our data being bought and sold over the internet in this way it can be easy to take a fatalistic approach to our own sensitive, personal data. That’s a dangerous move considering that a recent poll of Canadians found that 48% of respondents had been targeted by online fraudsters.
Why Gaming Online Casinos?
The reason for the specific focus on online gambling is the industry’s rapid rise in popularity in Canada. Over the past couple of years the industry has flourished here with new providers popping up on a weekly basis.
The complex nature of Canadian gambling laws has resulted in an online gambling industry where Canadians are just as likely to place their roulette or blackjack bets with a domestic as a foreign provider.
Whist foreign gambling providers are in the main safe and secure, there are some that are not thanks to the lack of regulation of foreign betting companies in Canada. As a result it’s easier than you think to fall foul of an unscrupulous provider and wind up with your personal data being stolen by fraudsters and scammers.
(Online casinos are being increasingly targeted by scammers as their popularity grows.)
What is Personal Data?
The personal data that is likely to be stolen by fraudsters are things like your name, address and bank account details in addition to your passwords. This data can be used to steal your identity, hack into your bank account and hack into any other online accounts you have.
If a scammer gets a hold of your personal data, you could notice your bank account emptying or strange transactions on your cards and even purchases made online with companies that you regularly shop with.
All that is needed by a scammer to do this is your personal data, so how do you go about protecting it?
Whenever you shop online or buy services and products you should always conduct a bit of a background check on the company you are using, particularly when gambling online. If you’re signing up to a new site make sure to check if the provider is registered and regulated with the relevant government authority.
Read reviews from customers, paying particular attention to any reviews that mention financial irregularities or data breaches. Even a simple Google search along the lines of “Company Name Data Breach” could come in handy.
If a provider is likely to sell your personal data or not protect it properly, they will have done the same before and there will be a record of it online. Do your research, it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
(Do your research; most dodgy providers have a readily available rap sheet online.)
Once upon a time it was common place to use your dog’s name or the name of your favourite sports team as your password. Nowadays doing something as lackadaisical as that can wind up landing you in a heap of trouble.
Fraudsters and scammers have sophisticated ways of cracking passwords, so to stay one step ahead of they make sure you’re using a unique password for every account you open. Also make sure that the password is something hard to crack and isn’t just your birthday or your spouse’s name!
Want to give your online transactions that added layer of protection? Use an e-wallet. A company like PayPal is perfect, they act as the middle man between your bank and the companies that you make transactions with.
When you use PayPal to make an online transaction, the merchant will at no point be able to access any of your sensitive personal data. Whereas if you simply enter your card details the merchant will be able to view and store them, making them susceptible to scammers.
PayPal also uses two-factor authentication for payments and end-to-end data encryption to keep you safe. If you find an online casino provider that accepts PayPal, it makes sense to play with them.
Your data is incredibly valuable and you should treat it as such. Scammers and fraudsters will go to great lengths to gain access to your data so don’t make yourself an easy target. Follow the tips listed out in this article and government guidance and you’ll stay safe online.