Within the last few years, online gambling has enjoyed a huge increase in popularity. It’s estimated that the global online gambling market is now worth a staggering $41 billion. However, the emergence of new and evolving technologies means the industry continues to be a hotbed for fraud.
Gamblers can easily take part in lotto betting online, but with so many sites to choose from, how do gamblers know which to trust and how to avoid being scammed? Here are some tips on how to enjoy responsible gambling without falling victim to cybercriminals.
Install an anti-phishing toolbar
Popular internet browsers can be customized with anti-phishing toolbars. This is one layer of protection against phishing scams that is completely free. These toolbars run quick checks on the websites you are visiting and compare them to lists of known phishing sites. If you come across a suspicious site, the toolbar will alert you to it.
There are many different anti-phishing toolbars available, as provided by your chosen internet browser. However, the Netcraft toolbar can be downloaded on the following internet browsers:
- Firefox 1.0 or later on all platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux)
- Google Chrome 26 or later on all platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux)
- Opera 15 or later on all platforms (Windows/Mac)
Players should also install antivirus software for further protection. The BitDefender Antivirus Plus and the ESET NOD32 Antivirus are among some of the best antivirus softwares available.
Do not fall victim to phishing emails
Beware of emails which can trick you into disclosing passwords on fake websites. Similar to banking scams, phishing emails attempt to impersonate the online betting site in order to access your details. Most sites, whether it’s an online store, booking agent or gambling site, will have a policy that means they do not contact you via email for payment. Trusting these sites, such as by following links in these supposed official emails, could result in identity theft.
Another method of phishing is e-mail tracking pixels which can be used to hack into your e-mail account. Google Chrome users can install the Ugly E-mail or Pixel Block extension to prevent email hacking. If you do not use Google Chrome, you can download Senders which removes invisible pixels, even with mobile clients.
Verify a website’s security
It’s natural for players to feel a little weary about supplying sensitive financial information online. One way of checking a website’s security is to see if it is encrypted with HTTPS – a communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on e-commerce, banking and gambling sites. Those that do use HTTPS ensure all communications between your browser and the website are protected.
To find out whether the website is on HTTPs, look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secure. This is often highlighted in green with a small padlock symbol symbol to the left of the URL. If you get a message warning you that the site may contain dangerous content, do not open it.
Watch out for bonuses, they might be viruses
A good rule of thumb to remember is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid downloading ‘cheats’ as they may contain viruses or spyware designed to extract account details and other personal information stored on your computer.
It’s also advised to be wary on chatrooms, a feature which many online betting websites have. If players are going to use them, they are advised to be careful not to share any personal information with other players.
There isn’t a shortage of people who want to take advantage of online gamblers, so it’s up to you to make sure your money and personal details are safe. Common sense and caution go a long way and, if you follow the above tips, you should be able to enjoy responsible gambling without the worry of falling victim to fraudsters.