Nowadays, finding online casinos where you can play digital games with real cash is practically the easiest thing to do in the world. But how sure are you that these casinos are safe?

The good news is that you don’t need to be a cyber security expert to stay safe while playing at online casinos. After decades of development, the online gaming world has produced regulatory authorities whose job is to guide players to safer gaming experiences. eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) is one such authority. eCOGRA is dedicated to being an impartial, international body for testing and certifying the underlying safety mechanisms that online casinos have in place.

In certain areas of the world, the organization’s certification is a requirement before online casinos can operate. And indeed, online gaming portal Tuxslots considers eCOGRA certification as a primary identifier for whether or not a website is safe for players. The site notes how the certification is present on top online casinos like Energy Casino, Ladbrokes, 32 Red, and 888 Casino, which have literally thousands of slots and other digital casino games in their combined rosters.

Meanwhile, online gaming news site European Gaming reports how the ISO 27001 certification is also fast becoming a safety identifier for online casinos as well. Similar to eCOGRA, ISO 27001 tests websites’ security measures in terms of their network infrastructure, configuration, and development. And top online gaming providers like NetEnt, Betway, and Yggdrasil are already certified.

These are just some of the safety certifications you should look for whenever checking out an online gaming platform. And if these and other similar certifications are missing, the next thing you should look for is secure socket layer (SSL) encryption. An SSL encrypted website simply means that any and all information you input will be protected by encryption layers that prevent it from being intercepted. This ensures protection against some of the most common attacks hackers use to steal information, not just from online casinos but from practically every website in the world.

For the most part, simply looking for the padlock icon beside the URL you’re currently accessing is enough to determine whether or not a website is properly encrypted. Also, look for whether or not the URL starts with “https,” because if the ‘s’ is missing, then the site isn’t SSL certified. There are different levels of encryption certification, and the higher degrees are usually employed by banks, corporate networks, and online casinos. You can also right click on a website and click “view page info” or “view page source” to check the underlying code for the type of encryption, which you can then cross-reference online. While the nitty-gritty of encryption can be difficult and confusing, a greater understanding of SSL certificates and encryption technology can only strengthen your personal defense against would-be data thieves.

Whether you’re looking for online casinos or just want to play the latest online video games, cyber security is the key to having a hassle-free gaming experience. Apart from the aforementioned tips, don’t forget to practise basic cyber hygiene: frequently change your passwords, log-out of apps and websites when you’re done, and don’t let anyone else use your login credentials. While online casinos are legally liable for the safety of each online player, observing fundamental cyber security habits is also a player’s responsibility.