From shopping for groceries to paying your bills — the internet has made our lives a lot more convenient. The same goes for car shopping. These days, car buyers can check out a dealership’s entire inventory online, calculate their loan payments from their smartphone, and even apply for a car loan on their laptop.
With more convenience comes a little more risk, but thankfully internet security measures are stronger than ever. Still, some people are reluctant to fill out credit applications online. In this post, we’ll go over the security measures that trustworthy businesses use to protect their customers online.
How your information is protected online:
The Canadian Government and, more specifically, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) play a large role in keeping your information safe online. Powerful and far-reaching federal legislation is in place to regulate how your personal information can be collected, used, and disclosed by businesses. At Birchwood Credit Solutions, we adhere to the security protocols outlined in the Personal Information and Electronics Document Act and have security measures in place to keep your info safe.
These rules ensure businesses and organizations only ask for personal information that is relevant to the product or service they are offering. For example: an online car loan application form shouldn’t ask for personal information about your health or marital status — these kinds of things aren’t relevant to car financing and should set off alarm bells.
If any section of an online form seems out of place, contact the business and ask them why they need that information from you. If they don’t have a good answer, steer clear and consider reporting a concern to the OPC.
Encryption is the most important security feature for online businesses and services. In simple terms, encryption services work like a series of locks and keys that keep customer information safe during transmission. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology for establishing a secure link between a business’s servers and a customer’s browser. This is the same kind of advanced encryption technology Birchwood Credit Solutions uses to protect the information of potential customers online.
How can you tell if the website you’re using employs SSL technology. Take a look at the site’s address and make sure the web address prefix looks like this “https://” (the “s” stands for secure). Also, if you’re on a site without SSL encryption your web browser will usually alert you to the unsecured page with a pop-up.
While SSL encryption is becoming more common, there are still sites that don’t offer this extra layer of security. Make sure you double check that the website you’re using is secure before you enter sensitive information like your credit card number.
Another way to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate online business is by checking if they’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau, or another independent consumer protection organization. Birchwood Credit Solutions has been BBB accredited since 2014 and holds an A+ rating. Take a look at our profile to read through some of the positive reviews from real Birchwood customers.
While these measures help businesses protect your information online, here’s a few other things you can do to keep your personal details safe:
- Keep your passwords and PIN codes private and avoid writing them down.
- Be wary about giving your Social Insurance Number (SIN) out online.
- Watch out for links leading to other websites.
- Don’t share personal information on social media.
- Stay alert to email and phishing scams.
Learn about our secure car loan application
At Birchwood Credit Solutions, we don’t require any sensitive information to get our car loan process started and we don’t sell any of your information to third parties. We make sure every application is secure with our advanced encryption and privacy measures.
When you fill out our online car loan application form, you only need to provide general details about yourself and your income — we don’t ask for your SIN number. Get in touch with us today to learn about our quick and easy car loan application.