How To Protect Your Identity When Betting Online?
When you sign up with a bookmaker or casino online they will usually ask you to prove your identity. This is standard practice and nothing to worry about, usually done in order to avoid possible money laundering and to protect vulnerable or under age people from accessing gambling. Once your account is up and running, however, there are numerous reasons why you might want to protect your identity and keep your betting site information safe from prying eyes and those that might use it for nefarious means.
If you want to keep your information as secure as possible, one of the first things that you’ll want to do is to ensure that you’re only using licensed betting sites. After that, you’ll also want to make sure that you follow standard practices for remaining safe online, such as not sharing login details and not giving out your bank details over email. There are more steps you can take though, which we’ll look at in more detail here.
Verify Your Information
The first step with most bookmakers online is the verification of your information. Betting companies are a common place for money launderers to turn, placing bets that are as good as guaranteed to win with dirty money in order to receive clean money back. As a result, organised crime has worked hard to infiltrate sports betting companies across the internet, which means that the regulator is facing major challenges.
One of the first ways that the United Kingdom Gambling Commission moved to ensure that bookmakers and other online betting companies weren’t being used for the purposes of money laundering was by insisting that companies operating online asked for customers to prove who they were. As a result, people opening new accounts or with old accounts that haven’t yet been verified need to prove who they are to the companies they use.
The most important thing for you to realise is that this isn’t anything to worry about and that your information will be kept safe. Bookmakers aren’t going to give your information to any other organisations or start posting things to your house unless you give them permission to, so don’t feel as though you’re not practising safe online procedures when you send them a photo of your driving licence, passport or some utility bills.
Bookies, casinos and other gambling companies that are based online use your information to check that you are of a legal age to gamble, as well as to confirm that you haven’t previous self-excluded from being able to place bets. They also confirm your identity and are therefore able to contact you if it appears as if you are using your betting account for the purposes of criminal proceedings.
Just because online companies need to know who you are, that doesn’t mean that you can’t then take steps to protect your identity from other people. This is just a case of safe practice online, so there are numerous things that you can do that are just sensible and applicable to other areas of an online existence.
Bookmakers and casinos will need to know certain information initially, but after that point they won’t ask you for such info again.
Make Sure They Are Licensed
The first port of call when you’re signing up with a casino or bookmaker online is to make sure that they have been issued with a licence by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The UKGC has a wealth of different things that it requires companies to do in order to gain a licence, so only signing up with one that has done these things offers you an immediate and verifiable sense of security in your online operations.
Make Good Account Decisions
Next up, you’ll want to make sure that you make good decisions when you’re creating your online account. This includes things such as picking a strong password that can’t be easily guessed. On top of that, don’t write your password down anywhere or, if you absolutely have to, make sure that you keep it somewhere safe and secure such as in a locked safe. There are password manager programmes nowadays that will save your passwords online and you just need to remember a master password.
Likewise do not use an easily guessable username (such as your age and date of birth), also do not use the same username and password with multiple sites, use a unique version for each.
Don’t Share Information
Other than entering your login details into the homepage in order to access your account, betting companies will never ask you to tell them your password on something like an online chat or via an email. If you ever receive an email asking you to give your password then report it to the company in question and delete it, but definitely don’t give the information over in a reply to the email.
Use A VPN
Virtual Private Networks, also known as VPNs, are a way of protecting your identity and information when operating online. They essentially alter your IP address, making it appear as though your computer is based somewhere other than where it is actually located. When turning on your VPN, you need to make sure that it tells the betting company that you’re using that you’re still located in the country where it is licensed to operate.
Have A Secure Connection
The next thing you’ll want to do, regardless of whether you’re using a VPN or not, is to make sure that your internet connection is secure. The majority of betting companies, especially those that have a license from the Gambling Commission in the UK, will operate secure sites and so you should see a green padlock appear in the address bar at the top of your browser. If you don’t, quit your internet program, reload it and log back in.
Log Out Of Your Account
One thing that many people forget to do at the end of their session in an online casino or with a betting company is to log out of their account. This simple action will prevent someone else from opening your computer and continuing gambling from where you left off. It’s important to do this at all times, but it’s vitally important to remember to do it when you’re using a public computer, such as in a library or cafe.
Use An eWallet
The final thing we’ll recommend that you consider is to use an eWallet. These methods of payment allow you to have your debit card or bank information saved with them, meaning that you don’t have to input such information to every betting company that you sign up with. Instead, you can use something like PayPal or Skrill, keeping your bank information one-step removed from the various companies that you’re signed up with.
The one thing to remember when it comes to eWallets is that a lot of online betting sites won’t let you take advantage of the likes of sign up offers if you use them. The best thing to do is to check the terms and conditions of any offer to see where you stand. Missing out on such an offer might seem like a bad thing, but if it offers you a degree of protection then is it something worth missing out on?