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Is Upwork Safe to Use?

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Working remotely online is a dream for many people. Whether you want the convenience of setting your own schedule or the ability to work from anywhere, freelancing online is an enticing idea. Unfortunately, finding reliable online work is challenging. It is a lot easier to fall victim to scams when predators hide behind a screen. Most aspiring online workers encountered Upwork at one point or another in their career search. The popular platform is a freelancing giant—but mixed reviews deter users from joining the platform. Learning about Upwork and how to use the site safely helps users get a jumpstart on their online careers. What Is Upwork is an online network that connects freelancers and employers. It’s the largest freelancing marketplace, that was previously two separate companies, Elance and oDesk. Since their merger in 2015, Upwork became the go-to spot for finding potential jobs or people to do them for you. The platform caters to many industries, most notably web design, customer service, programming, statistics, writing, illustrating, and translating. The possibilities are endless. It’s free for anyone to post job opportunities on the site. There are tons of posts, ranging from agencies looking for SEO copywriters to start-ups seeking video game designers to bring their passion projects to life; from students looking for someone to write their homework to even people looking for dating profile managers. Although employers don’t face many obstacles to create accounts, freelancers have to jump through some hoops before making proposals and getting paid. Freelancers now need to apply to create a profile and fit specific requirements to apply to positions. Upwork takes a rather large service fee from freelancers (usually 20 percent to start) plus VAT to European users in addition to a small service charge from clients. Users looking for additional freelancer or employer perks can opt for paid premium accounts, or other “job connects” to actively apply to positions they did not receive an invitation for. Is Upwork Legit? Many clients and freelancers alike find success through Upwork. It is a legitimate site that you can use with peace of mind. Upwork takes many security measures to ensure the safety of its users and encourages all users to follow specific guidelines to regulate activities on their platform. For example, clients must pay out “milestones” for paid projects in advance, which will sit in Escrow until the project is complete. This means that the money waits with a third party in advance upon contract agreements, so you don’t need to worry about clients ghosting you without payment on the platform. They also alert any suspicious activity from clients and warn you to pause work the second something seems fishy. For example, when clients connect payment information to hourly contracts, Upwork notifies freelancers if their credit information expired. Likewise, the platform monitors messages and posts to ban and suspend any suspicious users on their accounts. Despite these efforts, scams are possible through the platform, and if you fall for them, Upwork probably won’t […]

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