Safety and Security. It’s on everyone’s mind almost everyday. There are some things we do almost instinctively to keep safe, like looking both ways when we cross the street or double checking that the door is locked. But when it comes to our online activities, protecting ourselves is often less intuitive. At Lendified, we believe that online safety and security is a serious matter.
At a recent tech event where Troy Wright, our Founder & CEO, was participating as a panelist, Troy noted that consumer trust was amongst one of the biggest barriers to growth in the fintech sector. Yet online lending platforms like Lendified are growing and thriving. With this trend, we’re seeing an improvement in security technologies as well as enhanced consumer awareness around privacy and best practices.
Here at Lendified, the security of your information is our top priority. We use all the appropriate security measures to protect your personal information from unauthorized access and use. Your safety and security is just one less thing you have to worry about when applying for a loan at Lendified.
But what about other websites? We have compiled a list of key considerations and best practices to follow when dealing with any online service that is requesting personal information from you. Does your small business have a website? These are also great things to keep in mind with respect to your customers and their experience transacting with your business online.
- Do Research. Do your due diligence before doing business with anyone online. Some key things to explore include: Are they licensed where appropriate? Are they a member of an accredited organization? Have they ever been featured in mainstream media publications?
- Get to Know The Business Owners. Be sure to also look into who the owners or executives are as well. A good place to start when vetting the credibility of a business owner is to search for them on Google or on LinkedIn - this might provide some insight into their experience and credibility.
- Look for Happy Customers. Are there testimonials from real people and/or credible businesses on their site? Try to reach out to them to get a firsthand account of their experience. Another best practice is to check sites like Facebook, Yelp, Redflagdeals.com or TrustPilot to find customer reviews. Any “red flags” regarding questionable practices should emerge there.
- Check for an SSL Certificate. A secure website will always have a security logo on their site indicating that they have an SSL Certificate. Lendified uses GeoTrust, but there are many others. The presence of SSL means you can rest assured that communications (e.g. credit card numbers) between your browser and this site web servers are private and secure.
- Confirm the Contact Information. Is there a phone number and Canadian address clearly provided? A P.O. Box without an address could indicate a red flag. For your peace of mind, give the business a call to get more information and confirm that they’re legitimate. If all else fails, trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy about dealing with the company, don’t.
- Watch for Hidden Charges. Transparency is a key indication of a trustworthy company. If costs, fees, rates or terms are not clearly communicated upfront, or if these terms change during the transaction, this could suggest questionable business practices, and you should proceed with caution. When it comes to your money, all financial terms should be stated clearly and concisely.
- Read the Company Blog. A corporate blog can be a great way to become familiar with the brand and the company’s voice. It can also give you insight into the positions the company takes on some key issues in the industry as well as an insider’s look into its team members and their participation in the community. These matters from a security standpoint because these activities point to credibility and legitimacy, and can quickly set apart a sound business from a shady one.