Online businesses are always looking to onboard new customers or users. One of the easiest ways for companies to attract a first-timer is to offer something for free. The mighty freebie is a great way for customers to sample a new product or service—and it’s one of the most efficient ways for businesses to showcase what sets them apart.
At least, in theory. A free online offer isn’t always free… or even tied to a legitimate business. If you want to learn more about how to vet a free online offer, then stick with the basic tips outlined below to help you improve your approach to cyber security.
Learn More on Trusted Sites
The better the free deal, the more publicity a business will want to surround itself with. Consulting third-party sources is a great way to learn more about a free deal… or even find a better one. For example, online poker is one of the most freebie-heavy industries online.
If you want to learn more about where and how to play poker free, you can dive into articles that explore how to find free online games, which sites are best, and how free deals are differentiated. If you’re not sure if a freebie offer is legit, then try to find coverage on the deal from a neutral group.
Check for a ‘Trust’ Seal
If you’re looking into a freebie offer, you probably won’t need to insert your personal financial information. After all, free means free. However, keep a lookout for trusted seals, such as the Better Business Bureau seal or the PayPal seal. These are basic markers that a company is associated with another high-trust company.
Read the Reviews
Everyone knows to read the reviews before purchasing a new product or service… but some people become complacent when there’s something free on offer. If it’s free, then what could the risk really be? In reality, reading reviews on free offers can expose some negative experiences.
For example, legitimate companies will use a vetted company to highlight their transparency, such as Trustpilot. Trustpilot verifies its reviewers, who offer a totally honest review of a website. Any quality business with a true freebie on offer will offer some sort of review page.
Double-Check the URL
If you aren’t sure whether you’re being connected to a genuine free deal, simply check the URL. Certified websites that are trusted will have a padlock to the left of the URL. Other times, your browser might show a pop-up that says a connection isn’t trusted. Both instances are a clear indicator that the freebie offer you’re interested in might be coming from an untrusted source. You can also rely on a website checker, such as Urlvoid.
Google, Google, Google
Though it might seem obvious, one of the easiest ways to learn more about any freebie deal is to simply Google the offer. If you’re still a little iffy on the website’s validity, can’t find any third-party reviews, and aren’t sure which sort of trust seal to look out for, then let Google do the work for you. Oftentimes, if a freebie offer isn’t legitimate, you won’t be the first person to raise the red flag.