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Before you play online..

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by deltoid, Apr 7, 2009.

    Apr 7, 2009
  1. deltoid

    deltoid Dormant account

    Occupation:
    software
    Location:
    canada
    Hi all,

    Reading through the complaints section, I think it'd be good to have a pinned thread on what to do BEFORE you play online. Actually, this is more of a what to do before you even GO online (banking, email, playing at a casino).

    1) Upgrade your browser. The following browsers are recommended (in order) and are freely available.

    * Google Chrome google.com/chrome
    * Apple Safari 4 apple.com/safari
    * Firefox 3 getfirefox.com
    * IE 8 microsoft.com

    Running IE6 is a recipe for disaster. You could visit a legit site and still get your computer taken over (how this works is complicated, but it could happen). IE 7 also sucks for security. The browsers above have built in anti phishing (that being said, *never* click a link from an email unless you are expecting it - for example, activating your account on casimomeister.)

    2) Once you've upgraded your web browser (Casinomeister, it'd be interesting to post the user agents and their count to see how CM members are doing on this!) get an anti virus. AVG is available for free, as is Clamwin. (That is, if you are running Windows, OS X you're fine without). Google for these. If you don't trust the free stuff, pay for something - else you're exposing all of your banking, payment details, email passwords, that picture you took and said you deleted but you didn't, *everything* to potential hackers.

    2.5) Make sure your firewall is enabled on your computer, or your router. This is usually simple, but varies for the OS and or router.

    3) Know the threats. Yes, there's millions of people online, and the odds are low that you'll get singled out (or that's what you like to think). But what these hackers do is release a virus, let it take over a bunch of computers, and then they search for data like passwords, account numbers, email addresses, etc, with which they can do some serious damage. It's extremely easy for a hacked computer to be scanned for any file that contains, say, the word "moneybookers" or "quicktender". Once they find that file, tada, they can and will break into your account. If they are even smarter, they could make it look like it's coming from your computer, leaving you with little recourse.

    4) Keep your passwords encrypted, or better yet, don't keep them on your computer. Write them in a book and keep that in safe place, preferably under lock and key. While we're talking passwords, make sure to not use *any* dictionary words, or any patterns on the keyboard. Use capitals, special characters, and make them sufficiently long <- be sure to get these down somewhere safe. Do NOT use the same password for *anything*, especially casinos, online banking, or ewallets.

    5) Once your computer is secured, remember - don't click on links from your email. Always be suspicious, and never download any nifty cool applications/smiley packs, etc, from wherever. That includes pirated stuff - even with virus scanners, running pirated software is a *great* way to compromise your computer and risk your identity, credit, and cash. If you don't want to buy the software, reconsider your "need" for that software. When buying, make sure you stick to reputable sources (eBay is not one of them, I'm afraid).

    6) When emailing security documents, first insist to the casino/ewallet that email is NOT secure, and they really should have a secured form on their website to allow you to upload your documents. That being said, most Casino/Ewallets don't have this facility nor do they even have PGP/GPG encrypted email (probably because not enough of us demand it!). When sending your documents, BLACK OUT as much as you can while still leaving your picture/address and date of birth. Take out the barcodes as well (these can be read by computer programs and get the numbers you blacked out). For example, black out your driver license number, passport number, CVC number (back of credit cards), the inside 8-9 digits of your credit card, etc. *NEVER EVER* email your bank account number or picture of a check, even with a "VOID" on it all it takes is the account numbers and transit numbers to drain it.

    Now, hands up everyone who has done/is doing the above? Any questions, fire 'em off. I hope we can make this thread a good resource and maybe get it stickied or article-ized (I'm thinking adding something to Simmo's Online casino FAQ).

    HTH!

    Delts

    p.s. It goes without saying, but I guess it needs to be said - don't log in to ANYTHING from a computer that you haven't secured as above. Even logging into your email from a public terminal might leave that to attack! ALSO - And I can't believe I forgot to mention this, uninstall any Bots from your computer before playing. A list of bots include - HAL, Awesomo, and CasinoBeater2000. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
    4 people like this.
  2. Apr 10, 2009
  3. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    One bi problem with this is that many casinos just WILL NOT ALLOW players to take this level of security. One thread details a case where a player reached an impasse with a casino that INSISTED they supply the PASSPORT NUMBER rather than blank it out.
    There are still one or two casinos that ask for the CCV to not be blanked out, and get a bit touchy about ANY blanking out.

    Chrome has lots of good reviews, but casino software is designed to run with the Windows Explorer series of browsers, and there can be problems if this is not available. Microgaming casinos are probably the worst offender, as they will STILL incorporate IE as a lobby plug in even if YOU have set a different browser up on the PC.

    Missing from this advice is the fact that there is a very narrow definition of what will be accepted as ID proof, and many players get caught because they cannot prove ID because the GOVERNMENT of their home country doesn't routinely issue what casinos assume "everybody must have". Since this issue only surfaces at CASH OUT, it is too late for the player to decide they cannot supply what the casino wants, and take their custom elsewhere.

    In general, if you DON'T have a form of PHOTO ID, you are "stuffed" when it comes to playing online, and you MUST get verified IN WRITING beforehand, and ensure this is a BINDING and LASTING agreement. This reminds me of the case of a disabled player here who did not drive, so had no photo license to supply as ID. They had reached an agreement with the casino to use alternative forms of ID, but a while later the casino changed their mind and went back asking for a passport. Possible for this player to get, but VERY difficult, and expensive in time & money. being unable to drive due to disability, there would also have been logistical problems for this player, who would probably NEVER need the passport for travel.

    This ID issue seems to be the source of many problems lately, and needs to be sorted out BEFORE you consider issues surrounding deposit methods, withdrawal methods, choice of cards or ewallets.

    Computer security products have a tendency to see casinos as viruses and/or malware. CS will often give the canned response "try disabling........". Pretty risky, firstly, you have to trust the casino site is legit, and secondly you have to remember to REenable your security after you have successfully completed the action that seemed problematic in the first place.
    It is better to have a product set to ask first, rather than take action. This means that when casinos get flagged, you are asked something like "block, allow once, allow always", and you can tune your product to accept your casinos rather than switching it off & on.

    For those with many computers, sensitive data could be stored on a machine NOT connected to the internet, something that many companies with sensitive data do.
    Unfortunately, every advance in computer security is matched and "hacked" around by advances in malware. Even the alternatives to IE will get their share of hacking if they become more popular than IE itself.

    Safest of all so far seems to be to use a non-Windows OS altogether, but there is still a problem of getting many applications to work. However, a member here has Obuntu, which can run a "windows box" that in turn can run Windows applications, such as casinos. Obuntu is derived from Linux I believe, and like Linux is "open source" and free.
     
  4. Apr 10, 2009
  5. deltoid

    deltoid Dormant account

    Occupation:
    software
    Location:
    canada
    Yep, all valid points. It's Ubuntu, and you can use VirtualBox to run windows in that. As for sites being designed for IE, this is a thing that hopefully will stop with the advent of IE 8, which is more compatible with standards (Although still not as good as firefox or chrome.) It's funny, I'll have this discussion with someone and they'll claim more sites work better in IE, so IE must be better - but in fact those sites were designed and tested for use with IE, not with standard compliant browsers (that's why IE8 has a 'compatibility' mode , which downgrades it to do the old things that were programmed specifically for IE6/7).

    Great advice on ironing out ID requirements before playing!
     
  6. Apr 10, 2009
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Unfortunately, industry standards do not get chosen on technical merit, but on the clout of the supplier. Microsoft had such clout that their non-standard IE was forced onto software designers as the new standard. When video recorders first came out, it was Betamax vs VHS. VHS won, but was NOT the best when it came to technical quality, but VHS managed to get most of the industry players behind it, and won out in the end. Some also say Blu-ray is NOT the best either, but it won because it was able to bring most big players on board.
    Expecting IE8 to influence designers to redesign software back to standard may be held up due to the fact tha IE8 does NOT run on anything further back than XP, leaving many "third world" countries out in the cold for a while, since they reuse old kit we throw away, which tends to run Windows 2000, or Windows 98. I am infamous here for STILL running my 10 year old Windows 98SE Packard Bell PC for email, some simple web browsing and music storage, whilst this new XP machine is more devoted to high end media (TV on demand) and casinos.
    I might try Ubuntu on the 98 machine before it finally meets it's maker (or gets exported to Nigeria for recycling, minus hard drive of course:D). It would be interesting to see how it works for future reference.

    I have tried Firefox, and can vouch for the compatability issue - it doesn't work on the Purple-Lounge website for a start, even with the Flash plug-in installed. I have not yet tried the new Chrome browser, but it has stunning reviews, and it is free:D
     
  8. Apr 10, 2009
  9. love2winalot

    love2winalot Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Roulette Player
    Location:
    Philippines/Visiting Las vegas
    Hiya: Yea, how you get paid makes everything else null an void. It would be like playing BJ at a real Casino, when you are under age, and no one ask, then reading the sign at the cashier cage, "We ID anyone under 30 years of age". Yea, you got hundreds of dollars in Chips, THAT YOU CAN'T CASH IN.
     

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