Remember that there are a lot of bad guys out there and the web makes them able to look and sound just as safe and reputable as anyone else. Even if the site you're dealing with is totally honest, that doesn't mean that they can keep your data safe from hackers or bad employees.
Following privacy principles is your best bet for handling their weak security (they can't lose what they don't have after all), but when it comes to identifying the companies with bad service and lousy deals, following is the method I use:
The quickest way possible to get information about any retailer is to do a web search using your search engine of choice. Rather than just search for the name, try these combinations:
- companyname sucks
- companyname scam
- companyname ripoff
See if any interesting results come up. Read what they say and see if there's a recurring trend. In the case of Lifelock, you can find everything you need to know at the first link
The Better Business Bureau
They can't tell you everything you need to know about a business because they only track complaints that have been filed with them (which is probably how Lifelock manged to get an A+ rating). Where the BBB really helps is when you find negative reviews and complaints.
In other words, a positive BBB review might not really mean anything, but a negative one definitely does.
Web of Trust
Again, Lifelock skates by so you clearly can't trust the positive reviews absolutely, but Web of Trust is still another useful site with user-driven reviews and ratings for a site and company's trustworthiness.
Similar to the others, this is a website that has ratings for various sellers online. Use it as another resource to find the bad stuff about the company you're planning to deal with.
Answer websites like Answers.com, Yahoo Answers, or Just Answer.com can be a great resource. You post a question and see what people have to say about it. Something like "Can I trust this site" is a good start.
After checking around, you should be able to find out if the site or service you're planning to deal with is something you should avoid. At the very least, you'll be able to avoid the most obvious scams.Tags: BBB