We all love a good deal. We all love getting something for free as well. However, it is important to make sure that the deals you get are legitimate and not sites which are out to defraud or steal your personal information. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your information safe when claiming on-line deals and offers.
1. Set up a separate email account. Before you start collecting online coupons or freebies, make sure you set up a separate email from your “main” account. This helps ensure that your “good” e-mail address is not sold nor redistributed to other websites. Make sure that you do not use this email for anythign other than offers. That means you will not want to include any contacts or other personal details. This will keep both you (and your family and friends) safe from these attackers.
2. Check the Facebook or website details. Before you request any free offer or coupon via Facebook, make sure that it is really the page set up by the company. You can quickly find out by visiting the company’s website and clicking on the Facebook link. If you don’t see a Facebook link, then it is more likely than not that they do not have one.
You can also check the history of the page. When was it established? How many people have liked it? What are the wall posts like? Many times you can review these items and learn more about the company and/or it’s page.
3. Give out as little information as you can online. Don’t ever opt into anything that might require more than your name and address information. If they require a Social Security Number or Driver’s License for any reason, never provide that information.
4. Change your passwords – often. If you set up your online shopping accounts using only one password, you are open to vulnerabilities and attacks. Make sure that you switch up your passwords and look at changing them frequently. Also make sure it is something that includes upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers — all of them. One thing you can try to do is think of a sentence you might say like “You get what you get” could be turned into the password Ygw*yG13. Make sure you keep your password written down (outside of your computer) so you can access them quickly and easily.
5. When in doubt – pass on the offer. If it looks to good to be true, then it more than likely is. If it appears as if the offer is just too good to pass up, then it also might be. Compromising your safety and identity is never worth a free product.
Make sure that you are always safe when you are online. Having your personal information stolen is never worth the cost of getting something for free!