Banking at home has never been easier or more appealing than it is right now. But although we might all be staying safer physically, it’s equally important to make sure your information is safe if you’re applying for an online loan. Here are four steps to ensure you are applying for safe online loans.
1. Watch out for phishing scams
Phishing scams are when scammers attempt to get you to send them information by fraudulently claiming to offer a service or impersonating a company you’re already working with. Some scammers have set up entire online loan websites that are simply phishing scams, which are built to look like actual online loan lenders but are just a cover to gather application info. Clues that a website may be a phishing scam include:
- Minimal information online about the company
- The address bar doesn’t include an “s” in “http”, showing that it isn’t a secure website
- Claiming that they need an up-front fee to process your loan application
Scammers may send emails, phone calls and even text messages impersonating services you know and trust. But if you’re receiving notifications that you haven’t solicited or that seem fishy in any way, it’s best to go directly to the company’s website and contact a verified source of customer support to confirm their message.
2. Be careful when getting rid of computers, phones and tablets
Getting rid of an old phone, computer or tablet? To get rid of a computer, make sure you use a wipe utility program to get rid of all the information you had stored in there.
If you’re done with an old phone and have transferred your data to your new phone or backup, remember to remove your SIM card before throwing out or reselling it. You can also reach out to the phone’s manufacturer to find out how to completely wipe your data.
3. Check for encryption before giving your info
Reputable lenders should have encrypted pages for any website where you input sensitive information. Encryption makes it so that only you and the recipient can understand your data, and not third parties.
How do you check for encryption? It’s easy — most browsers will show a “lock” icon on encrypted pages.
If you want to take your personal encryption to the next level, there are a variety of free tools available including Signal to send encrypted text messages that look and feel like normal SMS or KeePass that lets you manage passwords and other credentials through encryption (which means no more forgotten passwords or text documents full of priceless information).
4. Create unique and memorable passwords
Particularly when dealing with financial institutions, using a unique password for each website is a strong line of defense.
Worried about forgetting your passwords? Try using emotionally charged words without an obvious relationship to one another — but no kids’ names, birthdays, favorite bands or anything else someone could learn with access to your Facebook account. For example, the name of a coworker you don’t like or your favorite movie from middle school might be memorable, and yet not easy to guess, and a combination of these unrelated but memorable words or phrases will make your password very strong.
Or if that all sounds too complicated, an encrypted password management tool will handle it for you, and help you ensure your passwords are unique and never forgotten.
Notice: Information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Consult your financial advisor about your financial circumstances.
Press Release Service by Newswire.com
Original Source: 4 Ways to Keep Your Info Safe When Taking Out an Online Loan