The advent of financial technology encouraged the proliferation of online lenders offering loans within just a few clicks. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect when the COVID-19 pandemic started, with many transactions, including in the financial sector, shifting online.
As online lending grows, so do predators and scammers waiting to prey on victims. There are shady lending websites on a mission to scam people out of their money or steal their personal information.
If you are planning to take on a loan online, you might want to read through the tips below and stay protected against cybercriminals waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack.
Only Use Apps From Trusted Lenders
The number one thing you should remember is to only install or use lending apps from a trusted company. You might want to research the lender of personal loans you plan to use before you start putting their applications on your phone. Apps from untrusted sources could download malicious files on your device. All your personal data will be vulnerable to threats.
Cybercriminals could use that app to get sensitive information from your device. Thus, when you plan to install a lending app, ensure you only do so if you are familiar with the lending company.
When researching, you need to look for the lender’s license. Unlicensed lenders are a huge red flag, and no matter how enticing their offers are, you need to avoid them as much as possible.
Avoid Using Public WiFi
You should not use public WiFi when using any fintech apps, including lending apps. It’s because public WiFi is a risk to its users as hackers can place themselves between you and the point of connection.
In short, the hacker could act as the middleman of all your transactions under the public WiFi connection.
Take Time to Know the Security Measures of the App
Although you have already established the legitimacy of the company running the lending app, you still aren’t out of danger.
After you legit check the lending company, the next thing you need to look out for is the security measures the company uses to secure all transactions made within their app.
Ask what their tech team uses in storing all the data they gathered from their clients and how they protect these transactions.
Once you get the answers, you should conduct another round of research and look up any information about the technology used on the portal. It’s also worth it to know if there are any third parties involved and to determine what information is being shared with them.
Constantly Update Your Phone’s Security
You have to ensure that you regularly update your phone. Every new update includes security upgrades that will help you protect your information from being accessed by outsiders.
The same goes for your lending application. Once an update is available, you should conduct the update as soon as possible to ensure that your apps have updated security.
It’s also best to install an antivirus on your smartphone to detect any suspicious applications being installed on your device. Antivirus will also remove such malicious software found on your device immediately.
Always Log Out From the App
Make it a habit to log out of your app after every use. This way, you can ensure that no other person can access it. Whether you are accessing the lender’s portal via the app or their website, you have to ensure that you log out after every session.
Many legit fintech apps have already adopted the automatic logout feature when they notice the app idle for a few minutes. Your session will expire and automatically log out of the platform. But, you still have to make sure and double-check everything before you leave it.
No matter how badly you need extra cash, you should prioritize your security. Take your time and don’t rush in applying for a loan when you see an enticing offer online, especially if you aren’t familiar with the lender. Follow the tips provided above to ensure that your data is secured.