What is 128-bit SSL Security?
Practically all online casinos list that they have “128-Bit SSL security”, but you will very rarely see an explanation for what exactly this means. Is it safe to assume that because a number of companies use it that it automatically guarantees its authenticity and safety? Well, we have compiled all the information you need, meaning you can make an informed decision about your security options.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a protocol (a set list of procedures) that systematically encrypts sensitive data being sent over the internet from a client to a server; in this case, you (and your banking details) to the online casino housed in the server. You may wonder why it is only the server that’s protected by SSL security; after all, your details are just as important as the casinos right? Well, the casino server protects both your end and their’s through a section of keys.
For a transaction or sensitive data to be sent across the internet your computer talks to the casino’s server, allowing the server to calculate the compatibility of your system’s encryption technology. When the server understands your systems capabilities it sends its security certificate to be confirmed by your system. After authenticating this certificate, and by using the server’s public encryption key, your system sends along a randomly generated number that only the server could decipher using its own linked private key. This affirmed number is then used as the basis in conjunction with the public and private keys to allow your entered bank details to be encrypted, before they are sent over the internet safely and securely, only able to be deciphered at the server’s end.
To be even more secure, your system would ideally have its own public and private key structure called a Public Key Infrastructure (a PKI). However, as you can imagine, this authentication process could take longer and invariably the more complex protocols become, the harder it would be to solve a problematic situation. The current SSL server protected method that most online casinos choose is therefore the easiest to access and safest when it comes to protecting your details.
Now that you know what “SSL” is, you may be wondering what the “128-Bit” part means and how it compares to, say, “40-Bit”. When a “handshake” occurs, (information that is sent across from the client to server), the web-browser defines a level of encryption; if it is a low level service (basically, not your credit/debit card details) then 40-Bit SSL will do, but an experienced hacker could potentially enter this connection and steal the information to later decode. However, 128-Bit connection can “calculate 288 times as many combinations as 40-bit encryption”, which, according to the leaders in consumer protection online, Verisign, means that it is “over a trillion times a trillion times stronger”.
SSL developers are constantly looking to improve on any flaws (the few that remain by now). Don’t be surprised if your casino of choice informs you it is now using the latest version of SSL security, as they are simply improving their security features even more for you. When researching SSL-Bits online, you might find reference to SSL v2, which was incredibly flawed. However, SSL v3, which all SSL secured sites now use, fixed all of these security flaws, leaving you in safe hands.