Category Archives: Money

UK Banks Are Now Paying People to Open Accounts

UK Banks Are Now Paying People to Open Accounts

According to the Financial Inclusion Commission, over 2 million UK citizens don’t have bank accounts. Also, a significant number of UK citizens with bank accounts (50%) prefer handing their money in cash, and 15% of all newly opened accounts are either abandoned or closed.

UK banks have seen this as an opportunity which is why they are now paying people to open and use bank accounts. UK citizens who open new bank accounts or switch accounts stand to enjoy great deals in the form of monthly bonuses, cash backs, loyalty points, interest-free overdrafts, name it! There are many banks with great offers. TSB, for instance, has re-launched its free £125 to customers who switch to its Classic Plus accounts.
If you don’t have a bank account or you are unhappy with your current one, many UK banks have incentives for you. Here’s more on how UK banks are paying people to open accounts.

1. Free switching cash

Switching bank accounts has never been faster and easier. Furthermore, you stand to earn free switching cash. You can use the switching service to open a new bank account and transfer everything in record time. The top UK bank accounts offering free switching cash include; First Direct (offering £125 free switching cash), TSB (offering £125 free switching cash plus 5% cash back) and HSBC (offering £150 free switching cash plus £ to stay).

2. Cashback

UK banks are also offering great deals to people who open accounts paying cashback. These accounts are perfect for people who spend a lot of money on household bills and don’t have enough money to left to earn interest. These accounts are also perfect for individuals who pay their bills via direct debit. Some of the top UK bank accounts with cashback include; NatWest which has a 3% cashback currently for individuals who spend over £270 on household bills monthly. For a monthly fee of £3, NatWest will pay you 3% cashback on your household bills with no limit on the amount of money you can earn.
Santander 123 Lite is offering a 3% cashback with a lower fee £1. However, customers don’t get to enjoy in-credit interest.

3. Free insurance

UK banks are also offering bank accounts with free insurance. These accounts are perfect for individuals who need associated insurance and are always in credit. UK banks which are paying for their clients’ insurance include; Nationwide is offering £600 worth of high-end travel insurance as well as £120 worth of mobile and breakdown insurance. Although customers have to pay £10 per month to enjoy this deal, account holders stand to enjoy great benefits that are otherwise costly.

4. Overdrawing

If you need to open a new account to make your overdrafts cheaper, there are great options for you. UK banks like First Direct and Nationwide have great deals. First Direct has a £250, 0% overdraft plus £125 cash when you put money towards your overdraft to pay it off.

Nationwide has a 12 month, 0% overdraft deal to help you get your finances in order. You also enjoy a £100 bonus for referring a friend who successfully switches/opens a Nationwide current account. Your friend will also receive the bonus.

There are however conditions to enjoy this deal i.e. you must clear your overdraft in a year or start paying applicable charges. Also, Nationwide doesn’t promise to match the overdraft facility clients were receiving previously in cases where clients are switching accounts.

Summary

UK banks are offering many great deals to people who open accounts. These deals range from free switching cash to cashbacks, free insurance, and incentives for overdrawing. It is, however, crucial to check the conditions and fees applicable for you to qualify for the incentives. Missing anything in the fine print can easily reverse your gains. The bank account/s you open must match your needs and the bank’s conditions.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Financial inclusion in the UK

Financial Inclusion in the UK

What is financial inclusion?

Financial inclusion is a term used to refer to the inclusion of people in a modern financial system fit for everyone regardless of factors like income. For any economy to enjoy consistent growth and prosperity, financial inclusion is of utmost importance. Although Britain is a global leader in financial services, there are still people who lack access to basic banking services. According to the latest World Bank statistics, over 2 million UK citizens are unbanked (don’t have bank accounts).

The UK government understands the importance of financial inclusion which is why a special commission dubbed; Financial Inclusion Commission was formed recently. The commission has members from all sectors including politicians whose aim is improving UKs financial wellbeing.

Financial exclusion brings forth many problems. For instance, citizens who are financially excluded don’t have access to basic financial services which prevents them from participating fairly and fully. Financial exclusion has a negative effect on education, health, employment, housing as well as the overall well-being.

Financial exclusion

Anyone who is not financially included is financially excluded. Financial exclusion affects different people at different times. People with unstable or low income are usually the worst hit by financial exclusion. Other groups of individuals who are bound to be affected include; immigrants, disabled people, single pensioners, lone parents and people who have stayed for a long time without work. Part-time workers and students are also affected by financial exclusion in the UK.

Financial inclusion statistics in the UK

According to recent World Bank statistics, the UK ranks 9th in the world in regards to financial inclusion. The UK has over 1.5 million unbanked adults. Approximately 50% of unbanked adults are interested in having a bank account.

Of all the UK citizens with bank accounts, 50% prefer to handle their money in cash. Customer satisfaction levels in the banking industry stand at 60% for the 4 largest providers.

The newly banked incur the highest penalty charges i.e. approximately 5.6 charges every year. In fact, 26% of newly banked UK Citizens have suffered penalty charges exceeding their gains in savings. Also, 15% of all newly opened accounts are either abandoned or closed.

Between years 1989 – 2012, the UK banking industry lost approximately 7,500 bank & building society branches due to closure. This represents 40% of the entire industry the most affected areas being low-income areas.

Credit statistics

Unsecured consumer credit has increased drastically (tripled) in the past two decades from £51.8 billion to £160.4 billion. It is estimated that over 2 million people take out high-cost loans every year in the UK because they lack access to cheaper forms of credit. Between 3 and 7 million households use any one or more forms of high-cost credit. 49 to 64% of all UK households hold one or more forms of unsecured credit.

The payday loans market has enjoyed the highest growth of all unsecured lending markets. The market has grown from just £330 million to over £3.7 billion in the last decade.

Saving statistics

According to the Financial Inclusion Commission, over 13 million UK citizens lack enough savings to cater for their monthly expenses for a month if they suffered a 25% income cut. The same statistics indicate that UK citizens save less than their counterparts in the EU. Of all UK households, only 41% are active savers.

Insurance statistics

Insurance penetration and uptake statistics are also valuable when assessing financial inclusion in any country. In the UK, 50% of households falling in the bottom half of UKs income distribution chart lack basic insurance coverage i.e. contents insurance. Only 20% of all average income households have contents insurance despite the fact that households which lack contents insurance are three times more likely to be burgled compared to those with insurance.

Summary

A lot need to be done about financial inclusion in the UK. Although only 2 million out of the 64+ million citizens lack basic financial services like banking, UK citizens are still lagging behind in regards to other aspects of financial inclusion i.e. insurance and access to affordable credit. The UK is also lagging behind on saving. However, with the Financial Inclusion Commission in place, the UK is headed for better days.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

How Do Changes To The Pensions in the UK Affect Me?

New Changes To UK Pensions – How Does It Impact You?

UK’s State Pension changed on 6th April 2016. If you attained State Pension age on/after 6th April 2016, you will get the new State Pension with new rules aimed at simplifying everything. Here’s what you need to know about the new changes if you’ve made contributions under the previous/old system.

How are you affected?

If you have been receiving a State Pension, the new changes won’t affect you. You will still continue receiving your pension under the old system rules. The same applies to individuals whose State Pension was taken early i.e. 1953 but deferred to any date after 6th April 2016. In such a case, calculations will still be made using the old system rules. If you had not accumulated any State Pension before/by 6th April 2016, new State Pension rules apply.

Key changes

One of the key changes to UK’s State Pension touches on the earnings-related section applied to employees. This part which was known as Additional State Pension has been abolished. The new pension is now based on National Insurance alone. Currently, the new pension stands at £155.65 per week. It is, however, possible to get more if you have entitlement to more state pension (under the previous system). To be eligible to receive £155.65 per week under the new system, you will require 35 years National Insurance record.

How the new State Pension is calculated

Your National Insurance record as of 6th April 2016 will be used to come up with a starting amount that is higher than what you would get under the previous system. If the starting amount happens to be higher than the new full State pension, you will get the entire new State Pension sum plus anything else above as protected payment which is inflation-adjusted. However, you can’t be able to accumulate more State Pension going forward.

If the starting amount equals the full new pension, you will get the full new pension. However, you can’t be able to accumulate more State Pension going forward. When your starting amount is less than the new full State Pension, you can accumulate more State Pension to a max. of £155.65 per week until you attain State Pension age.

Deferring new State Pension

You can still defer taking your pension under the new changes. For every year deferred, you stand to enjoy a 5.8% increase compared to a 10.4% increase enjoyed under the old system. The new changes also deny you the right to take the entire deferred amount at once.

New State Pension in regards to women’s/widow’s reduced rate National Insurance contributions

The new pension system is based on your National Insurance contributions alone. Your pension can, however, be calculated using different rules resulting in a higher rate if you choose women’s/widow’s reduced rate National Insurance contributions.

Topping up

The new system avails two schemes for topping up your pension. The scheme you use will depend on; if you have attained State Pension Age.

Class 3 Voluntary NI Contributions

In the new pension system, it is possible to make Class 3 NI contributions if you haven’t attained State Pension Age, but you are worried about having enough NI contributions to qualify. The contributions are voluntary and solely meant for helping people fill gaps in their NI records for purposes of boosting basic pension entitlement.

Passing over your pension to your dependants

The new rules have made it easy to pass over your pension to your dependants. For example, if you die before reaching 75, your pension will be transferred over to your dependants tax-free. Tax has also been reduced from 55% to 45% for individuals who die after 75, and your dependants want the entire pension as a lump sum.

For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Top Investment Mistakes People Must Avoid

Top Investment Mistakes People Must Avoid

Introduction: What is investing?

Most people make investment mistakes because they fail to understand what investing is. Investing can be defined as the practice of putting money into activities that generate more money. The main purpose of investing is to make profits and/or generate material results. You can put your money in financial schemes, buy shares, property, etc. Such activities equate to investing.

Investing is crucial because it’s the best way of ensuring your money works for you. To become financially independent, you need to find activities i.e. investments that generate money for you. In fact, it’s very hard to become rich without investing your money. Many people understand this fact so, why is it so hard to become rich? Well, here are the top investment mistakes most people make.

1. Following investment trends blindly

This has to be the most common investment mistake you must avoid. Many people tend to copy other people’s investments without doing their own research. This mistake is catastrophic. Although picking suitable investments is a daunting task, you should never copy someone else’s investments. Investigate and find out if the investment in question is viable according to your own research. Investment trends may appear lucrative at first glance. However, you must do your own research before committing your hard earned money. Your success as an investor is highly dependent on the accuracy of the information you use to make investment decisions so, research thoroughly before following investment trends.

2. Poor goal setting/planning

Most people also tend to set poor investment goals or lack investment goals altogether which is detrimental when it comes to measuring investment success. For instance, you should know why you are investing, how long you want to invest, the risk you should take, when to take profits, etc. Goal setting is very important when investing since investments undergo cycles. The stock market for instance rises and falls with time. Without clear goals/plans, you can’t be able to know when you should liquidate your stock holdings. In such a case, you might return all your gains to the market. In a nutshell, the investment you choose must serve your purpose for investing, and the best way of ensuring your investment purpose is served is to have clear goals.

3. Focusing on current performance of investments

This is another top investment mistake you must avoid. Most people fail as investors because they focus on top performing investments. Although it is possible to make money by investing in something that is currently doing well i.e. stocks, it’s not always a good idea. The best/highest returns are enjoyed by investors who identify lucrative investments before everyone else. In simpler terms, most people fail in investing because they focus on the present instead of the future. You must learn to identify investments long before everyone else otherwise you will enjoy average gains like everyone else. As a result, the future prospects of any investment are more important than the current performance.

4. Investing in the short-term

You should also avoid short-term investment approaches since such approaches never offer significant gains. Investments hardly offer significant returns in a year or two. Unfortunately, most people are in a hurry to reap returns. The importance of practicing patience when investing can’t be overlooked. If you do your research, set clear investment goals and focus on the future, you shouldn’t have a problem picking great investments that are bound to reap you good returns in the future. In fact, you won’t be required to do much once you make lucrative investments. You just need to wait for years to reap big. Think long-term i.e. 5-20+ years.

5. Poor risk management

Many investors also fail because of poor risk management. You should never take too much risk or uncalculated risk when investing. For instance, you shouldn’t invest all your money in one investment since there’s always a risk factor in investing. To avoid being destroyed financially when your investment fails, spread risk by investing in different things as opposed to one thing. You should, however, avoid diversifying too much since such a practice tends to dilute returns. If you are investing using a loan, makes sure you can afford to pay for the loan comfortably whether your investment succeeds or not.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Emerging Money Trends: What You Should Know About Mobile Money

Emerging Money Trends: What You Should Know About Mobile Money

One of the most popular emerging money trends today is mobile money.

Definition

Mobile money can be defined as an alternative method of sending and receiving money. Instead of using cash, credit cards or cheques, mobile money utilises a mobile application and a phone number acts as a bank account number. Consumers are able to use their cell phones to send and receive money as well as access a variety of financial services including loans. Below are interesting facts you should know about mobile money.

Developing countries are leading the way

The mobile money concept is most popular in developing nations with Kenya leading the way. According to the latest statistics, over 90% of all adults in Kenya use mobile money services. Mobile money is also popular in other developing countries like Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Outside Africa, the concept is most popular in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Developing countries attribute the popularity of mobile money to the scarcity of traditional banking services.

In fact, the United Nations among other international bodies have extended their support for mobile money services in developing countries because mobile money addresses financial inclusion problems. The trend is perfect where traditional banks can’t reach. As mobile money services evolve, the trend will easily spread globally serving other purposes besides financial inclusion i.e. to offer financial services more conveniently.

The major setback is agent liquidity

Mobile money services such as sending and receiving money require intermediaries (agents). To use mobile money applications like Kenya’s M-PESA, you must visit an agent to deposit or withdraw money. Although mobile money agents are readily available in developing countries, most lack the liquidity to handle large transactions.

Mobile money services usage varies

Mobile money allows customers to execute numerous transactions ranging from buying airtime to paying for goods and services. Person-to-person payments and airtime top-ups are the most popular mobile money transactions in developing countries. Bill payments are however catching up as the most popular mobile money services in South Asia.

Mobile money is largely cash-based

Contrary to popular belief, mobile money services are largely over-the-counter cash transactions. This may be surprising but true. As mentioned above, most transactions are facilitated by agents. Before you can start transacting, you must load money into your phone. To receive hard cash, you must visit an agent to withdraw. Although it is possible to send money from your phone to your bank account and vice versa, most transactions are still cash based. This will, however, change with time as mobile money services continue being connected to mobile wallets.

Top benefits of mobile money

Mobile money services attract a lot of benefits the most notable being;

1. Unmatched convenience: There are more people in the world with mobile phones than there are people with traditional bank accounts. Mobile money allows people to enjoy banking services anywhere, anytime. You never have to travel to a bank and queue to perform basic banking transactions. Since your mobile number is your bank account number, your phone is your bank.

2. Financial inclusion: Mobile money solves a very common banking problem i.e. financial inclusion. For many years, many people especially those in the developing world haven’t been able to access traditional banking services. Since there are more people with mobile phone globally today, mobile money bridges important gaps by ensuring everyone enjoys basic financial services.

3. Affordable financial services: Mobile money has brought the cost of banking services down. By creating competition in the banking sector, mobile money providers have been able to force banks (especially those in developing countries) to lower transaction fees charged on major services.

Fast, reliable and safe: It takes a few seconds to send or receive money using your phone. Mobile money is also reliable given the fact that it relies on cellular coverage. Mobile money is also safe given the fact that it eliminates the need to handle/carry physical cash. As long as users safeguard their PIN. No. Mobile money remains one of the safest emerging money trends today.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Hard Brexit vs. Soft Brexit: What Does It Actually Mean For The UK?

Hard Brexit vs. Soft Brexit: What Does It Actually Mean For The UK?

British PM Theresa May has finally confirmed that Britain will begin formal Brexit negotiations in March 2017, a process that is expected to last for two years. This comes after months of being reluctant to give a confirmation on the same. The confirmation has however elicited speculation on the kind of relationship the UK intends to develop with its partners after Brexit. According to speculators, the UK has two main options dubbed Hard and Soft Brexit.

What is Hard Brexit?

As the name suggests, a Hard Brexit would be a post-Brexit arrangement whereby the UK takes hard-line positions on migration and EU jurisdictional issues. A Hard Brexit arrangement likely results in the UK giving up full access to customs union with the European Union as well as full access to the EU single market. A Hard Brexit arrangement is likely to focus on giving the UK 100% control over its borders. The UK would also have the freedom to make new trade deals as well as apply laws (within its territory). This arrangement has both pros and cons.

Hard Brexit pros

The UK stands to become a global trading nation in a Hard Brexit arrangement. This is according to Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary. Many global business leaders have also expressed similar sentiments. Many global business leaders agree it is better for the UK to have hard Brexit arrangements that work fully than having arrangements that need to be renegotiated or are uncertain. A hard Brexit arrangement is expected to remove all uncertainties that have surrounded key issues on trade and immigration.

Hard Brexit cons

Although a Hard Brexit is expected to have more pros than cons in the long-term, Hard Brexit arrangements on trade and borders could see the price of British goods and services increase resulting from new tariffs. When the UK executes a full Brexit, the cost of goods such as exported cars may increase slightly stiffening competition. Sectors like agriculture also stand to be affected when the UK loses protections on cheap agricultural imports from abroad.

Bureaucratic checks may also increase when the UK leaves the customs union. It will be harder for UK goods to pass through airports and ports in the EU. Considering some countries i.e. the U.S. have given the EU priority in regards to new trade agreements made post-Brexit, the UK is likely to be on the losing end. It is, however, worth noting that Hard Brexit cons can easily be gotten rid off if the UK purposes to negotiate exceptionally. It will depend solely on the final Brexit negotiations and deals signed by the UK and its partners in the next two years.

What is Soft Brexit?

As the name suggest, a Soft Brexit arrangement would be a post-Brexit arrangement whereby the UK takes a softer stand on key Brexit issues. For instance, a Soft Brexit arrangement is likely to see the UK leaving most of its relationship with the European Union intact with very little to no drastic changes. In a Soft Brexit, the UK would, of course, seize being an EU member but maintain access to the single market.
In regards to trade, a Soft Brexit would see the UK continue to trade with EU states on tariff-free basis. Britain would also remain in the European Union’s customs union eliminating the need for border checks. In a nutshell, Britain would be expected to enjoy arrangements similar to those of countries like Iceland and Norway that are not EU members but enjoy single market access given the fact that they are part of the EEA (European Economic Area).

In return, Britain would be expected to continue accepting freedom of movement of people, goods, service and capital from the EU and be subject to some EU laws as is the case with current Switzerland and EU treaties.

Soft Brexit pros

A Soft Brexit arrangement will maintain the most important UK-EU connections i.e. on trade and borders reducing long-term Brexit risks that the UK hasn’t anticipated. A Soft Brexit is expected to eliminate many economic uncertainties eliminating unnecessary shocks.

Soft Brexit cons

Many people argue that the UK won’t reap the full benefits of Brexit through Soft Brexit arrangements. Some experts argue that Soft Brexit arrangements are a continuation of past arrangements. Nothing will change for the better. Furthermore, there are no negative effects being felt since Brexit as earlier anticipated. In fact, things have improved since the final Brexit vote was cast according to many global institutions including the Bank of England.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

What is the Future of Money? Can We Live Without it?

What is the Future of Money? Can We Live Without it?

To understand the future of money, we must take a step back and understand the history of money. Before money, there was barter trade which was simply exchanging goods for goods. Barter trade had obvious challenges. For instance, it was hard dividing some goods or agreeing on how to measure the value of certain goods against other goods. Given such challenges, it is clear why money became more popular than barter trade.

Since the beginning of civilisation, the nature of money i.e. as a store of value and medium of exchange remained unchanged until 1944 when the Bretton Woods Conference took place. During this conference, many countries agreed to tie their currencies to the United States dollar as opposed to precious metals like gold and silver. When the United States withdrew from the gold standard (in 1971), all currencies became fiat money i.e. money which derives its value from the government that issues the money.

Fiat money has presented many problems over the decades. For instance, Fiat money can be controlled by governments via central banks when they increase or decrease supply. This has presented a huge problem paving way for digital currency. The biggest underlying issue with Fiat money is trust.

Digital currency

Digital currency aims to solve the problem of trust. Digital currency gets rid of intermediaries in the money chain i.e. the governments and banks. There is no central bank which can increase or decrease the supply of Bitcoins at will. Digital currency also introduces ”unforgettable” digital signatures which are distributed instantly and ubiquitously making the currency a perfect alternative to fiat money. Such digital currencies are known as cryptographic currencies.

A perfect example of cryptographic currency is Bitcoin. The currency is not only secure but works perfectly since payments are processed automatically. Bitcoin also works via a digital ledger which is widely distributed. Bitcoin also works extremely well in regards to storing value. Unlike fiat money which can be printed by governments against the best interests of citizens, Bitcoins can’t be printed into existence. They are acquired by solving complex mathematical problems through a process called mining.

Unlike fiat money supply, Bitcoin supply is also capped making it impossible for an inventor to create an unlimited number of Bitcoins. Ideally, cryptographic currency solves most problems faced by Fiat currencies today including trust issues introduced by governments and private banks. Cryptographic currencies are controlled by algorithms (instead of humans) hence their intuitive appeal.

Facilitating transactions

Since money is crucial for facilitating transactions, the future of money can be seen in the currency that is most likely to facilitate transactions of the future. As more transactions move online, Cryptographic currencies are expected to become increasingly popular. Bitcoin has been tested and proven to facilitate online transactions better than MasterCard and Visa in regards to cost and security.

As mentioned above, cryptographic currencies utilise widely distributed ledgers making them resistant to security attacks compared to centralised institutions like banks. Bitcoin transactions are also instantaneous so they attract lower fees. Moving forward, cryptographic currencies are the best suited for handling transactions in the future.

Democratisation of finance

Fiat money has centralised power into the hands of governments and central banks for a long time. The model appears to have worked well however, there are obvious drawbacks which are evident now more than ever. It’s clear than the fiat money system is controlled by a few bankers, the government, and regulators. As more people begin to discover the systemic challenges of regular currency, a revolution in financial world is eminent.
Cryptographic currencies will make finance more democratic by removing power from a select few and hand it over to the masses. Cryptographic currencies are highly decentralized making them more secure and functional compared to anything we have ever seen before. With payment systems like PayPal which make it very easy to accept electronic online payments, the future of money is in digital currency more so, cryptographic currencies.

Setbacks

Cryptographic currencies have setbacks to. For instance, Bitcoin has suffered from speculative bubbles proving it’s not the perfect currency for storing value. However, Gold has suffered the same setbacks so, currencies will always be vulnerable to speculation. With that said, digital currency is the future of money.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

How Can You Protect Your Online Identity from Fraudsters

How Can You Protect Your Online Identity from Fraudsters

Identity theft can be defined as any crime, scam or deception that causes the loss of personal data such as; credit card numbers, banking information, usernames, passwords, etc. that are then used to commit fraud or any other crimes. Online identity is very common in the UK today as well as many other places. Identity theft is, in fact, the most common crime online today. Identity theft causes serious problems. Besides losing your hard earned money, identity theft can also damage your reputation causing other problems such as a poor credit score. You can even lose job opportunities when your identity is damaged online since most companies conduct thorough checks online before they employ people. If your personal information has been used to commit crimes online, your chances of getting a job are very slim. Clearly, identity theft is a serious problem. Considering you have to use your legal name and credit cards among other personal details online today, how can you protect your online identity from fraudsters?

1. Keep your computer and Smartphone security software up-to-date

Since using computers and Smartphones is inevitable today, you must go out of your way to ensure you have installed the best/latest/updated security software always. This tip is very effective but commonly overlooked by most people. Identity thieves exploit outdated security software in computing devices and plant malicious software that steals all kinds of personal information. The importance of investing in the best security software can’t, therefore, be overlooked. Although most people focus on installing the best security software on their computers, you should do the same with your Smartphone if you use it to transact online or engage in any other activities capable of compromising the security of your identity online.

2. Use strong passwords/change your passwords regularly

This is another obvious but commonly overlooked tip for protecting your identity from fraudsters. There are very sophisticated programs today that are capable of cracking passwords so, it’s important to think hard before you set a password. Although it can be a daunting task setting different passwords for every single activity you engage in online, it’s highly advisable to do so for security reasons. Never use the same password twice. Your passwords also need to be long (more than 10 characters) including a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. The password you use should also exclude your personal information such as your date of birth, age, legal name, etc. You should also change your passwords regularly.

3. Be vigilant (learn how to spot/avoid fraudsters/suspicious activity online)

You should also be on the lookout for fraudsters. If you’ve used the internet for a while, you should be aware of common fraudulent activities online. Ideally, you should be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t feel right. For instance, never click on unsolicited emails/links. You should also ensure you login to secure websites only. Secure websites are labeled nowadays when you check the address bar so it shouldn’t be hard verifying if you are logging into a secure site. You should also avoid clicking on pop-ups or registering for free products/services using your official email. It’s also advisable to avoid accessing sensitive online accounts using public computers since such computers tend to have malicious software. It’s also advisable to buy things from reputable websites only.
You should also be on the lookout for common signs of online identity theft like; inaccurate information on your credit report or receiving new credit cards you haven’t applied for. Exercising vigilance constantly when using the internet is very important since fraudsters are constantly looking for ways of scamming unsuspecting internet users. If you don’t know much about online fraud, start researching today.

4. Never give your personal information to anyone online or offline before you verify their credentials

Identity theft can take place offline when you give personal information i.e. your name, address, email, phone number, bank details to anyone or organisations before you verify their credentials. Although it usually takes plenty of time and effort to verify the credentials of every single organisation or person you give tour personal information, it’s worth the trouble.

Summary

Protecting your identity from fraudsters is very important today given the fact that almost everything is done online today. Most people do their banking online, correspond online, interact online, buy things online, etc. Considering the internet has become part of our daily lives, the importance of protecting your identity can’t be overlooked. You are bound to waste time and effort implementing the measures discussed above. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Effects of online fraud i.e. poor credit scores can prevent you from getting loans or cause you to pay high interest rates for payday loans among other types of short term loans. You also stand to lose money and job opportunities if you don’t take measures to protect your personal information online.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.