Tech Tip: Safe Online deals
Of course we've all traded our email addresses for a great coupon or discount. As inflation rises, it makes sense to be as frugal as possible. However, it can feel a little risky to give out personal info to sites and apps just for that two-for-one deal, especially with the spate of recent news about online data leaks. If you aren't ready to go back to the scissors and newspaper ink fingers, here are some tips to help you find great deals online with less worry about your privacy.
1. Check if online coupons are offered by the company, or a third-party affiliate.
If you are on a website that offers coupons and discount codes for multiple stores, check that the coupon is from the store itself; otherwise, you could be sharing your email address with a separate company with different privacy policies. How can you tell? Any links should take you to the retailer's website. Also, if the site has a lot of broken links and old, expired content, consider these red flags.
2. Check out all your local flyers and coupons at flipp.com (or use the Flipp app).
You don't need an account to look at your local flyers and coupons at flipp.com. If you do choose to create an account, you can save all your deals and coupons in one place. These flyers and coupons belong to the stores, not Flipp, and you get the added benefit of having one account for all your coupons and deals instead of for several websites.
3. If you have to sign up for a free trial of another website or piece of software, it's not worth the coupon.
If you have to download a free trial or an app to get a coupon, you could get more than just a great deal. Free trials often require your credit card info for signup - at worst, you could end up with fraudulent charges; at best, you'll have an account to cancel (and possibly forget about until you see a charge for it). If you're asked to download an app or software in exchange for a coupon, there's a chance that download could be malware.
What are your favourite deal sites? Do you have any concerns about sharing your data with them? We'd love to hear from you in the comments.