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Most modern websites are using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption to protect their users’ data. But what is this exactly, and how does it work? SSL encryption ensures that the data that is sent between the user and a website or between certain systems is encrypted and thus made unreadable for third parties. For this, encryption algorithms are used to encode the data so that others cannot read it. This information can be anything, and it does not necessarily have to be sensitive information. But, of course, personal and payment information are oftentimes the most sensitive data that we send over the net. The law requires that personal data is adequately protected against misuse and unauthorized access. This is especially true when it comes to the iGaming industry and online casinos. So, let’s have a look at both SSL and TLS certificates…
What is TLS?
TLS stands for Transport Layer Security and is an improved and more secure version of SSL. We still call these security certificates SSL because it is still the most commonly used term that has stuck. With the development of TLS, however, many vulnerabilities that exist in old SSL protocols have now been resolved and new security mechanisms have been added too.
How exactly do SSL and TLS work?
- A browser connects to a website secured with SSL/TLS
- The browser asks the webserver to identify itself
- The server sends a copy of its SSL/TLS certificate
- The browser determines whether the certificate can be trusted
- If it can indeed be trusted, a message is sent to the server
- The server sends a digital approval to set up an encrypted connection
- All data sent over that connection is then encrypted between the browser and the server
Why is this so important for online casinos?
When you sign up at an online casino, you have to share a lot of your private information. This oftentimes includes your full name, address, date of birth, email address, and phone number. It is vital that this information is only shared with the casino and that no unwanted third parties like so-called hackers can skim the data while it’s transmitted – this practice is known as a man-in-the-middle attack. This is particularly important when you are making deposits via credit cards where you have to enter your full card details to confirm the payment.
If you are playing at an online casino without SSL encryption, therefore, you can never be sure that everything went smoothly. Generally, all trustworthy online casinos are using this encryption technology, as they are obligated to do so by the regulatory body. If you come across a casino that does not support this security standard, chances are that this is not the only thing that is dubious about the site. Therefore, we advise giving it a wide berth.
How do I know if an online casino is using encryption?
There are several ways to find out if the connection between you and the online casino is secure. First of all, you should check the address bar of your web browser. Commonly, you can find a “lock symbol” to the left of the web address. If the lock is closed it means that the website is using a valid SSL certificate and has therefore a secure connection to your browser. Sometimes this could be indicated by a green symbol as well but the exact look of it depends on the browser you are using. If you are not sure, you can always click the symbol to reveal more detailed information.
Another way to spot a secure connection is to check out the web address directly. If you can see that “https://” is used in front of the address, this also indicates a secure connection. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. However, if the “s” is missing, and you can only see “http://”, then there is no encryption and you should not transmit any data over that connection.