Privacy has become a big deal in recent times, and rightly so. Ever since Edward Snowden came forward with his revelations about mass-scale surveillance, people have been concerned about online privacy. That’s only been compounded by recent data disasters surrounding Facebook and other online platforms.
Most online gamblers are private by nature, at least when it comes to how much or how often we gamble. If you want to reduce snooping by marketing companies, internet service providers, and your bank, we’ve got some tips to help you gamble anonymously. It’s never possible to vanish without a trace online, but it is possible to get close without going into full tinfoil hat mode.
There’s no need to go to extreme lengths with this, but these little things help. You’ll likely learn something new and become more tech-savvy in the process. Let’s begin.
Tip 1: Use a VPN to Spoof Your IP Address
VPNs spoof your IP address, making it look like you are logging into a website from another location.
I use the free Hola VPN and can log into a casino from the UK and make it look like I’m in the USA or Australia.
VPNs don’t require any technical expertise. Most of them are user-friendly browser plugins, and all you need to do is pick a country and start browsing. The VPN provider will then assign you an IP address from a pool of servers they have in that country, and voila, the gambling site you are seeing will not be able to pinpoint your location.
This comes with a potential downside. If you mistakenly use a VPN to appear as if you’re in a country which the casino does not serve, it could lead to your account being locked or shut down. This can be avoided by selecting a country which isn’t on the casino’s list of restricted territories.
Using a VPN to throw off a casino as to your location may be a bit on the extreme side, but it has other uses. As you hop around the web, you’re constantly leaving “footprints.” Even when you’re not logged into Facebook, Twitter, or Google apps, they’re collecting data on what you’re doing. I like using VPNs as a general practice, just to muddy the waters a little, but that’s just me. There’s just something about big-tech companies knowing how much I gamble online that spooks me.
Tip 2: Gamble With Private Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are taking the world by storm, and believe it or not, they were used in online gambling before almost any other industry.
Bitcoin is the best-known crypto, and many people falsely believe it is 100% anonymous and untraceable. The idea that Bitcoin is anonymous is a myth. Just ask the various criminals who have landed themselves in the slammer after selling drugs for Bitcoin on the dark web. It’s not anonymous, but it is private, and that’s good enough for most gamblers. Some of the top Bitcoin casinos have been reviewed right here on LegitGamblingSites.com.
Delivery time DOES depend on the casino. The best way to find out how and when a casino delivers their bonus (or any other promo) is to read our casino reviews.
Second, using Bitcoin or other even more private cryptocurrencies like Dash will mean no gambling transactions appear on your credit card or bank statements. That’s a positive thing for privacy since gambling is stigmatized by most other people who don’t enjoy it, including most bankers. Since you’ll likely be convincing these people to give you a loan at some point, it’s good to keep gambling transactions off your books.
You will likely have to share your details with the casino, though, due to Know Your Customer (KYC) laws. If you want to go fully anonymous, there are crypto casinos with no registration. They’re as close to an online private gambling club as you can get. But that’s probably going a little too far for most people’s privacy needs.
Tip 3: Be Careful When You Install Casino Apps
It can be handy to download a casino app and play blackjack or roulette straight from your phone. However, you have to be careful about what permissions you give them.
To illustrate why, I’ll tell you a story. One of my friends downloaded a casino app from a fairly well-known firm and tapped “Agree” to everything that popped up (like most of us do). She was later mortified to find that the app had been updating her social media profiles with bonus offers. Imagine if she had been trying to gamble online without her friends or family knowing, or worse, her employers.
I personally take the time to read the small print, or at least the gist of it. If I find that my data may be shared with third parties, I hit the back button and delete the app. That usually is legal-speak for “we will sell your data to other casinos and/or marketing firms.” That’s never good for your privacy since that data may include what games you play, your patterns, the strategies you like to use, etc.
Tip 4: Never Use Credit or Debit Cards
Even if you don’t want to go as far as using cryptocurrencies, it’s still not wise to use your credit or debit cards directly. Sharing your card details online is risky, and with so many alternative payment methods which protect your financial privacy, it’s completely unnecessary to do so.
It takes a few minutes to set up a PayPal account. While PayPal certainly is not a bastion of privacy and anonymity, it is a better option than sharing your card details. Why? Because if a hacker or data thief breaks into the betting site you’re using, all they will see is your PayPal email address. They may see a few previous transactions, too, but they won’t be able to do anything with it.
We suggest you take the time to familiarize yourself with all of the different casino payment methods. You may not even be aware of some of them, and many of them offer greater privacy than credit or debit cards do.
There are lots of voucher payment methods which are almost as good as using cash to gamble online. It’s also possible to top up using your mobile phone at some casinos.
There will always be some link between you and the money you spend online, but the trick is to reduce the risks and make the links as weak as possible. There’s no such thing as total privacy when it comes to online gambling, but we can get as close to that ideal as possible, and learning about alternative payment methods can certainly help.
Tip 5: Clean Your Tracks
Privacy isn’t just about keeping big companies and the casinos themselves from knowing too much about you. Sometimes, you’ll want to stop friends, roommates, and colleagues from knowing about your online gambling activities, especially if you’re using the work computer to place your bets when you should have your nose to the grindstone.
Before I go any further with this point, there’s one thing I need to say. If you’re trying to hide online gambling from your family—stop. You likely need help, and it is available. Don’t hide problem gambling from your loved ones. Hiding the odd football bet from someone who is judgy about gambling is probably fine. But if you’re hiding a problem, it’s only going to get worse. Get help now. You should be reaching out to your family for support, not hiding things from them.
Now, back to cleaning up your tracks for the right reasons. There are several tools you can use to do so. The first is built right into your web browser. Visit your browser settings, click “history,” and clear it. Chrome will give you the option to do so “From the Beginning of Time,” which I recommend.
If you want to avoid collecting a gambling-related web history in the first place, use Google Chrome and go into Incognito mode. Tap command, shift, and N if you’re using a Mac, or Control, Shift, and N on a windows device. This will open a new “dark mode” version of the browser, and the gambling sites you visit will not appear on your regular web browsing history. It will look like this.
If you want to go a step further and completely cover your tracks, you can use tools like BleachBit to obliterate your browsing history and anything associated with it. Again, that’s probably going a bit far unless you’re gambling in countries where it’s illegal to do so, but I wanted to make you aware of your options.
It’s possible to gamble privately on the internet. The question is, how far do you want to go? For most of us, using a cash-for-voucher payment method and using Google Chrome’s Incognito mode will be enough. If you’re a privacy-advocate who wants to go further, the other tips here will aid you in your quest to gamble in stealth mode.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, share it with your privacy-concerned friends. Some of the tips can be used for other purposes apart from gambling. If you don’t like the idea of Big Brother watching you, make these tips a habit when browsing and gambling online.