Flash Player Online Casino Games and Security Risks
Flash Player used to be an essential part of the Internet, and so many online casino players had to rely on it. However, a lot of controversy has been going on basically since the day Flash Player was created. The main concern was security and everything remains the same nowadays.
Although Flash Player is being used less and less by online casino players nowadays, you can still come across online casino games that require it fairly often. Given that, I thought some of you may find useful answers to these questions:
What’s Flash Player and what purposes it serves
Security risks of using Flash Player and possible consequences
How to mitigate security risks if you, for some reason, have to use Flash Player
Why did Flash Player use to be absolutely necessary software?
In the 1990s, it had become obvious for everybody that the Internet is here for a long time. But, back then, it was impossible for internet users to run any media files, like video and audio, which was a big issue. Flash Player was created in 1996 to address exactly this problem pushing user experience to the whole new level.
Every website with even slightly advanced functionality had to rely on Flash Player from 1996 to 2014 (when new technology was introduced to internet users). Thus, Flash Player is a computer program without which the Internet would have been very different during this period of time. And, as you may have concluded, the online casinos boom would not have happened as well.
Flash Player had been severely criticized for security issues during these two decades. As a result, in 2014, the industry came up with a better solution to the problem of running media files online, which is the HTML5 protocol. Nowadays, it is considered as “bad practise” to have Flash Player on your PC due to security risks.
Why is Flash Player still in some demand?
If Flash Player is so insecure and bad, why people continue to use it? Quite a legit question and the answer is simple. During those two decades when Flash Player used to be an industry standard, and a lot of software was produced relying on it including many online casino games. Some of them are still there, for example, some old Microgaming slots.
Therefore, if you decided to play in “legacy” online casino games, it would be impossible without Flash Player installed.
Vulnerabilities of Flash Player
On its core, Flash Player has immutable flaws that can cause critical risks to online casino players. By critical I mean that a hacker could take over your PC and do basically whatever he/she wants.
To be more precise, Flash Player runs some processes in the background of your PC, and, due to its poor security design, it allows hackers to interfere and take over the whole system at some point.
Adobe, which is a company that operates Flash Player, is trying their best to update Flash Player by fixing known vulnerabilities. But they are constantly emerging over and over as Flash Player is flawed on its foundation.
Possible negative consequences of using Flash Player for casino players
Consequences of being hacked vary from relatively mild to unacceptably severe, and online casino players are still suffering from:
Stolen financial information (bank cards and accounts).
Stolen email accounts.
Malicious software installed on their PCs (crypto mining software, spying software, etc.).
Spamming on your behalf.
Stolen online casino account (a hacker can have fun in an online casino at player’s expense).
How to mitigate risks of using Flash Player
If you would like to play in “old” online casino games that require Flash Player, then these precautions must be taken:
First and foremost, it is absolutely crucial to install Flash Player only from the official website. Then, it is even more important to keep installed Flash Player up to date. New vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered, that’s why it is so crucial to install the newest version of Flash Player with all known issues fixed.
Finally, you have to make sure that Flash Player does not update itself automatically. This is another security gap when a hacker can install on your PC a malicious program pretending to be a Flash Player’s update. Here’s an article about how to turn off auto-updates.
I would like to emphasize that those preemptive measures do not make Flash Player 100% bulletproof. However, they minimise risks of being hacked significantly, and it is a smart decision to stick to those practices.
How do I prefer to use Flash Player?
As for me, I prefer to interact with Flash Player that way when I have to. I install it from the official website each time I need to use it (let’s say, I have decided to play in old Microgaming slots). After I finish my gaming session, I simply uninstall Flash Player. That way I am exposed to security risks the minimum necessary amount of time. Also, that approach solves the problem that It is very easy to forget about updates since auto-updates have been turned off.
Is HTML5 better?
As I have already mentioned, HTML5 was created exactly to replace Flash Player in 2014. It has turned out to be a very successful innovation, and since then HTML5 has become the gold standard of the industry.
It is a very predictable thing to happen since HTML5 has eliminated all security vulnerabilities that Flash Player has. As a result, all modern online casino games are created using HTML5 protocol, so that casino players have nothing to worry about anymore when they run casino games on the web browser.
Having said the above, Flash Player is a legacy technology piece that used to be indispensable once, but not anymore. Due to its security problems, online casino players should be very careful when they have to use Flash Player. However, even with all precautions in place, Flash Player is not 100% safe.
Summing up, It is a rule of thumb not to use Flash Player until there is no other choice.
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