Online casinos are increasingly moving away from a browser-only experience and are now providing software and apps for their users as well. We’re talking specifically developed applications, rather than the clunky square peg, round hole solutions of the past.
Software over the browser ensures gamblers are given both a tailored and uniform experience, that all bases are covered, and that the casino can fully optimize the gaming environment. Sounds good, right?
However, most of us are a little dubious about downloading applications online. Safety concerning financial data, and computers suddenly being bombarded by ads, they’re all serious concerns. But while you should always be careful, software from online casinos is safe. Here’s the skinny.
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Mobile Casino Apps vs. Traditional Downloads
There are several ways you can download online casino software. The traditional way is via your laptop or desktop; you simply click that familiar download button and save the application to your computer.
What’s more popular these days, however, is for consumers to opt for apps, which are essentially another form of software. If you’re running an Android or iOS device, you will already be familiar with them. Most casinos have jumped on the app bandwagon, offering apps tailored for a mobile-specific experience.
Perhaps one of the safest methods is through the App Store. Each and every piece of software that is available on Apple’s system has gone through a rigorous vetting process, which means they are free from viruses and have jumped through various hoops to ensure the app is legit.
When choosing an online casino, you want to ensure it is licensed by a government-approved organization. In the United Kingdom, for example, it’s the Gambling Commission.
If the company operates under a legal license, you effectively have nothing to worry about. The software is 100% safe, and you can enjoy the wide range of games without concern.
Who Makes the Games?
Online casinos don’t release their own software, but rather work with big developers. These are vetted by third parties, ensuring that games aren’t just safe, but also fair. You want the odds to be exactly as advertised.
The major players are Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, NextGen Gaming, and International Game Technology (IGT). Most casinos will release their games through one of these companies. If you see one of these names attached to your favorite online casino’s software, you can be sure it’s legit.
This one is a generic catch-all, but it’s important you double-check that the casino is using SSL encryption on its website. This guarantees that all information that flows to and from the casino (e.g. your personal details) is completely secure.
It’s pretty easy to check whether a website has SSL enabled. First, check whether the website’s address begins with HTTPS. You can then also check whether there is a green padlock near the top of your browser (the exact color and look depending on your specific browser). You can also use a third-party tool like SSL Checker or Digicert to verify the results.
Keep Your Software Updated
Most of us tend to ignore our computer’s persistent calls for downloading updates. They seem to come in almost daily, whether it’s your operating system, browser, or security software.
It’s annoying. We get why most people tend to hit x rather than action the suggestion. But if you want to keep your computer safe from malware, keeping your system up-to-date is absolutely essential.
There are other reasons why it’s important to update, in any case, like protecting your data and improving the performance of your system. There’s no reason not to update, in most cases.
Check Before You Download
Before you decide to download the software you have found online, always verify whether it’s from a reliable source. Scammers are experts at making websites look legit, which means you have to be extra careful these days.
Don’t just assume, always check. For example, don’t trust a licensing logo on the website itself, but cross-reference using the government website. Before you open a file, run it through your antivirus software. Simple checks, but they really pay as they will ward off most nefarious actors.
Enjoy the Ride!
Staying safe online is relatively easy, as long as you take a few preventative steps. These apply whether you are downloading casino software or a run-of-the-mill PDF reader or a word processor. It really doesn’t matter, casino software isn’t intrinsically less or more dangerous.
Once you’ve checked that the casino has a license, your antivirus software is running smoothly, and everything looks legit, you’re ready to go. Enjoy the experience of gambling online; these days, it’s just as good (if not better!) than going to a brick-and-mortar establishment.