Probably the first thing you should be asking when you sign up for an online casino is “how are they keeping my money safe?”. More and more, providers are looking to more advanced forms of security, and encryption is the lynchpin of the entire operation.
How does encryption work?
Essentially, every bit of information that goes through encryption gets scrambled up into a special code that can only be read by special systems. Anyone accessing the data illegally, without that specific software, would just see a useless set of numbers and letters.
For example, in the world of iGaming, encryption forms a big part of a complex security system, which is essential as both money and personal information are required to pass through it.
That data could be deposited for anything from running random number generated systems that feed into key features on iGaming platforms, such as Paddy Power’s daily free spin wheel, to withdrawals after betting on specific sports matches, log-in details, or even support messages. Any time information of any kind is exchanged on a gambling site, it’s encrypted.
What types of encryption are there?
The current go-to for encryption and the most commonly used for online casinos is AES or Advanced Encryption System. It comes in 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit versions, with the higher numbers used for the most secure data. For the moment, AES is effectively unbreakable and is used by even the US Government.
Aside from this, you can get the public domain Twofish encryption, the upgrade to the original Blowfish encryption. It encrypts multiple layers for every data set, and it’s a symmetric system, meaning only the sender and the recipient can open it with a special ‘key’. This means the chance of a third party getting it is extremely small.
The last one of note is the more specialised RSA encryption, which is encryption based on an extremely complex and specific mathematical algorithm. This gives hackers trouble because it generates a huge amount of ‘waste’ output to sift through. It’s a bit slow for large data amounts but works great for digital signatures.
What is hashing?
Hashing is data encryption in the loosest sense. Any data or message encrypted with hashing creates a completely unique key which tracks the details down to the tiniest level. If you have two copies of a message, you can compare these keys to check if even one letter or number has been changed, as the key would be different. The only difference between this encryption and the other methods is that you can’t get the encrypted data back. That’s why it’s only really used for data verification instead.
So is my data completely safe?
The fact is, that hackers and data security are in constant cat-and-mouse competition. The old standard for encryption was DES or Data Encryption Standard. That got breached by hackers, so then TripleDES was created. Now, even that one is being phased out, with AES being the up-and-coming standard.
There’s no 100% bulletproof encryption method out there, but online casinos along with other major transaction sites are as close to that as we can possibly get.