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“Big Brother is Watching” or How your online footprint Follows you Everywhere

If you studied George Orwell’s 1984 in school, you will realize that Big Brother is, indeed, watching us. And you should be worried, very worried. If you stop and think for a minute how many times a day you are photographed, possibly thousands of times in one day, you’ll realize just how little privacy you have left and, hey, better not leave the house unless you’re looking your best! Yet, in 2016 this is now just the tip of the iceberg and that iceberg is more dangerous than the one that sank the Titanic - it’s the Online Iceberg and it’s coming for you. What exactly is this and why should you care?

Well, here’s why.  At some point in your life, you’re going to want to get a loan, whether you own a business or not and we all know how humiliating an experience this can be. Getting the chills just thinking about this? Well, now it has gotten even worse. Since we are smack in the middle of the new Digital Age, our online wanderings follow us around like a lovesick little schoolboy. We’ve all heard the warnings about being careful regarding what we post on social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. We’ve been told how these postings can affect us negatively in job interviews, promotions, dating the boss’s daughter… (OK, maybe not the last one). Anyway, now it’s been taken up a notch - your online activity can actually affect your credit profile and ability to get a loan. Uh- huh, no lie.

Why does this matter? Want a mortgage for your first house or condo? Want to re-finance? Have a business and need more cash flow? Want to start a business? Well, there are scads of alternative lenders out there now who will be more than happy to give you their money as long as they like your online footprint. Yup, read it again – online footprint. The technology is out there right now and is being used by many different lenders to track your online history. In fact, the amount of time spent on social media can actually affect your credit profile. The more time you spend online, even the time of day that you apply for an online loan and even how long it takes you to fill it out, all have a bearing on the outcome. If you’re filling it out in the wee hours of the morning, their thinking is that you’ve clearly got your back against the wall and need the money badly. However, the news is not all bad; if you’re getting glowing reviews on LinkedIn, Yelp, etc. this could actually work in your favour and show you’re a good risk. However, having thousands of FB friends suggests that, perhaps, you’re not doing what you’re really supposed to be doing- like working- and so that’s a big fat “X” against you.

Consider this a friendly warning because these days more and more people, especially the younger generation, want to do everything with one click of the button. No patience for the long game (mind you, who can blame them because traditional banks take forever); instead, they have found fintech companies that will provide almost instant gratification… but it all comes at a price. Everyone should find it very disturbing that so many people are willing to give up so much of their privacy. Scary!

Society, as a whole, will one day wake up and realize it is living in the world of Big Brother and, by then, it will be too late. In the meantime, if you are on the hunt for a business loan that doesn’t involve your invasion of privacy, then you really should look for a factoring company. Invoice factoring is a very practical, non-invasive solution to getting money quickly and ensuring the continued smooth operation of your business. Invoice factoring looks at your customers’ creditworthiness, not yours. Also, no checking of your social media profile. Honestly, they don’t care if your Instagram name is “Poopsie” or “Killer” and they certainly don’t want to know why!

Let’s wrap up with a couple of take aways. First, you really should educate yourself about the dangers of online activity and how it can affect you personally because it’s the smart thing to do. Secondly, if you’re interested in a business loan that is easy and non-invasive, check out invoice factoring. And, hey, remember…we’re watching you! (No, no… we’re not, honestly)