How many hours of the day do you spend online? One study from 2019 shows the average person spent more than 100 days out of the year online, and that was before the coronavirus caused many of us to stay home.
Now that we’re nearly a year into the pandemic, most people are spending even more of their lives online — from connecting with friends over video to binge-watching the latest series to drop on Netflix. You may even be doing your banking entirely over the web.
If you plan on taking out an installment loan online, you’re in for a simple and convenient borrowing option. But this convenience may come with greater risk as you’ll be exchanging financial data over the Internet.
To make sure your data is safe whenever you share it, check out these tips. They’ll help you lock down your personal information.
Legitimate installment loans direct lenders that provide online loans will focus on their digital security for two reasons.
- It’s the law. In the U.S., there are online privacy laws that dictate how online direct lenders can use your data. They also have to abide by federal financial laws that regulate how all financial institutions handle your information.
- It’s good for business. An online lender’s reputation can either drive business or scare it away. They don’t want to be involved in a data breach any more than you do, as this breach of trust casts doubts on their ability to protect their customers.
Double-Check for SSL
If you use Chrome, your browser does this naturally. Google has made it mandatory for websites to use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. If one doesn’t, Chrome won’t load the page properly, and it will warn you that the website may be predatory if you choose to proceed.
However, there’s a way to check for these things manually. A website with SSL will have the following features:
- Address that starts with HTTPS
- Closed padlock next to the URL
- Valid Certificate information
Click Before You Accept Cookies
The request to track your cookies happens so often that you probably don’t think twice before accepting it. You probably clicked accept at some point to get to this page. But when it comes to borrowing online, reading over how they track them gives you a good indication of whether an online direct lender uses firewall.
A firewall is a security device that monitors the activity on a network. It’s designed to catch unwanted traffic that includes viruses or active hackers that can snatch data shared between your computer and a website’s server.
Remember Security When You Borrow Next
There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re gearing up to borrow. You have to check your credit, compare lenders, and shop around for rates and terms all before making sure your choice fits your budget and needs.
Although you may feel like you couldn’t possibly add one more task to your long to-do list, make sure you remember to check your lender’s approach to security. If you can find a lender that can take your data seriously, chances are they’ll take your financial wellbeing seriously, too.