Thursday, June 28, 2018

From URL to IRL: How SafetyPIN Keeps Your Family Safe When Going Offline

This is a sponsored post in partnership with BraVoMark and SafetyPin Technologies

As moms, we always tell our children to 'never trust anyone you've met online'. After all, anyone can say they are anyone, and there is truly no way to ever know who we're really speaking to. It's good solid advice really.

But, let's be honest... how many of us have broken that advice? I know I have!

I met my husband online. Yes, that's right... we first connected via MySpace while we were a half a world away. We fell in love before we ever met in person. In our particular case, we did have someone in common...I was friends with his sister. She could vouch for him that he was in fact a legit person that I could trust.

But with so much of our communication being done online these days, that's not always the case... and it's not always just dating! More and more people have been finding themselves looking online for...just about everything. Need someone to walk the dog or keep him while you're out of town? There's an app for that! Need a housekeeper to come in once a week to help with the deep cleaning so you can focus on the kids (or take a nap)? There's an app for that. Need a date night with the husband, but have no one you know locally to watch the children? Yes, there is even an app for that. In this day and age, going online to find the help we need is sometimes the best option--- especially if you're new in town and don't yet know anyone!

But what about that old advice? How do we truly know that what we see truly IS what we get! For that, SafetyPIN can help!

So... what is SafetyPIN?

SafetyPIN is a virtual trust badge that provides a great way to know if the person you've met online is actually safe to meet in real life. Think about it like this... say you're looking to buy a new pair of shoes online and you find a great deal at a little boutique you've never heard of. You might be a little apprehensive, right? Is this site legit? Will I receive the items I pay for? Will they steal my information? Oftentimes sites will have various badges to give us peace of mind- Paypal Verified, BBB Accredited Business, Hacker Safe... you get the idea! These badges let us know that these companies we trust have vetted the site and deemed it to be reliable.

SafetyPIN is just like that... but for PEOPLE! Before anyone is granted a SafetyPIN, they must undergo an in depth 4-prong screening. This includes their criminal background, financial background, identity verification and behavioral screening. This last one is especially interesting to me. Most sites for baby-sitting or the like DO verify identity and run a criminal background check, but not all those who pose a danger have a criminal record. I mean, criminals didn't have a criminal record before they were caught, right? The behavioral questionnaire was developed with criminal profilers and a clinical psychologist to weed out anyone who might present any sort of danger, even if they have no record. And it's not a one time screening either. SafetyPIN holders are regularly screened again and if they no longer meet the requirement, their SafetyPIN is revoked. 

Once you have your SafetyPIN, you can post it on profiles or send through messages anywhere where you might be meeting someone online, off line. Examples can include, Airbnb, even Craigslist! You can literally ask for it ANYWHERE, it's not specific to anyone site or service. You can offer YOUR SafetyPIN so that others know they can trust YOU, and request their SafetyPIN so that you feel confident in trusting THEM. 

But does that mean they see all that personal information from your screening? Are they going to know that you've got a little bit of debt or how you answered that behavioral questionnaire? Absolutely not! They can only see that you have an active SafetyPIN, but none of your personal information is ever shared. And only YOU control who can verify your SafetyPIN. All personal data is encyrpted and follows best online security practices.

Are you convinced yet? Great! So... how do you get one?

Simply go to and apply. It will take you through the steps to get your own SafetyPIN. Most applications are approved within 24 hours. It costs only $1 to apply and for $6 for the first 6 months. It is less that $5 a month after that time. Don't worry, you can cancel your membership at any time! This is also the link that you will give to anyone whom you would like to apply as well, IF you want them to pay for their own.

Want the peace of mind, and willing to pay yourself (an ideal option for baby-sitters, nannies, etc)? You can do that too. Go to and register or login. Once you have signed in, go to the drop down menu and select vouchers. Enter their information and your payment information, and they will take it from there. You can choose to pay just for the application fee, or their membership...whichever you choose. (Please note: SafetyPIN is currently only available to the United States.)
When you need to hire help or otherwise meet up with someone you've met online, that extra security matters! SafetyPIN helps take some of those questions away and can help you feel more secure in going from URL to IRL.

Do you do a lot of interaction with people you meet online? How can SafetyPIN help you feel more confident in those interactions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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