Since its founders, Ryan Hudson and Goerge Ruan, founded Honey, the app has amassed more than 10 million users and has grown in the past few years. As someone who’s planning to use it, you might be wondering: Is Honey safe?
The Honey app and browser extension are generally safe to use. However, there’s a possibility for the app to be abused. Apps like it are prone to malware attacks and could collect your private data for various purposes. In the case of this app, it seems to be totally safe.
Read on to learn more about how safe Honey is and more about the Honey extension and app.
Is the Honey App Safe?
Ryan Hudson built this browser extension in 2012. If a fly-by-night operator made it, you’d think it’s gone by now or is facing legal issues.
So, is the Honey extension safe? What’s the catch?
Browser extensions are prone to abuse and security attacks. Some questionable companies may create extensions and introduce malicious code that opens your computer to adware, malware, and virus attacks. Others may keep track of your online activity and collect personal information that they could sell to a third party or use for other purposes.
Okay, before you panic, this usually involves only a small number of browser extensions. Most popular browser extensions with many (positive) reviews are less likely to be unsafe and illegal.
In the case of the Honey browser extension, it seems to be generally safe. They do collect user information. But according to their privacy and security policy, they don’t keep a record of your browsing history or sell your sensitive data to third-party companies for their own marketing use.
Why do they need to keep track of your activities online (e.g., the websites you visit) and collect other information?
Honey does these things to verify your purchases, letting them know how much they have to pay you back through the Honey Gold rewards program. They also need to collect any information from you to determine if their extension is compatible with the websites you’re visiting.
Again, the Honey browser extension isn’t spyware or made by a shady company that would sell your information. It’s generally safe to use. If it helps ease your worries, be sure to review their privacy and security policy before adding the extension to your browser.
So, if they don’t profit from the data they collect from you, how do they make money?
How Does Honey App Make Money?
Reputable coupon finder companies, like Honey, ensure that it’s a win-win for their customers, partner merchants, and themselves by:
- They charge their partner stores a small percentage of sales they make with the coupons they find for you.
- In return, they share their earnings with their consumers—that’s you—through their Honey Gold rewards program.
- Online stores benefit from this partnership because of the increased traffic, reduced shopping cart abandonment, and customer retention (if they ensure consumer satisfaction).
Amazon: Honey Is a Security Threat
Back in 2019, PayPal bought Honey for a whopping $4 billion. The next year (around December 2020), Amazon warned their customers that Honey might be a security risk.
Amazon’s warning said that Honey is a security risk. It “tracks your private shopping behavior, collects data like your order history and items saved, and can read or change any of your data on any website you visit.” They also recommended that their customers “uninstall this extension immediately.”
Should you take this warning seriously?
Well, it depends. As I’ve mentioned earlier, browser extensions like Honey have the potential for abuse. Some of these companies may decide one day that they won’t keep their promise of never selling your data to third parties.
Since PayPal is the new owner, they also own some or all of Honey’s assets, including customer data. They could use the data for various purposes, like knowing your purchasing history, preferences, and activities across different websites.
Amazon’s warning isn’t unfounded. However, it’s also true of other browser extensions. Some news outlets, like Wired, think that the timing of Amazon’s message was a bit suspect. Because before PayPal bought the company, Honey has been working with Amazon for years without any major issues about adware, malware, and viruses.
How Can You Know If a Google Browser Extension Is Safe?
To be safe, follow these steps to know if a Google browser extension is truly safe or not:
- Go to the Chrome Web Store. Then, install the “Chrome Extension Source Viewer.” This extension can also view the source code of Firefox add-ons and Opera extensions.
- On the Chrome Web Store, open the page of the extension you want to check.
- Click the Extensions icon (the puzzle piece-looking icon) on the upper left of the browser toolbar. Or you can click the right button of your mouse. Then, choose ‘View extension source.’
- After the new page fully loads, open the “manifest.json” file (first on the list).
- Press the “control” (CTRL or Ctrl) key and “F” key or the “F3” key on your keyboard to open the page search tab.
- Type the “unsafe-eval,” which is a dangerous function that would allow a malicious code to run on your computer through an extension or web page.
Note: If an extension or website has the “unsafe-eval” function, it doesn’t automatically mean the company behind it has bad intentions. However, it should prompt you to research more on an extension before adding it.
Again, is Honey safe? Browser extensions like Honey are typically safe to use, but there is a potential for abuse. Browser extensions can include malware, and they could collect your private data for various purposes. In the specific case of Honey and its history, it is safe to use.
About the Honey App
Honey is a popular free browser extension that helps you find the best deals and coupon codes on thousands of different online stores in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and more. So, if they find working coupon codes at checkout, they’ll automatically use the one that’ll give you the biggest savings.
Main Features of the Honey Browser Extension
Here are the main features of the Honey browser extension:
1. Mobile App
According to BigCommerce.com, we can expect mobile eCommerce sales to account for 54% of online purchases by 2021. If you’re one of those people who love to shop online using your smartphone, you can use the Honey mobile app.
Both people who own Android and iOS devices can use the Honey mobile app. However, at the moment, it’s only available for members who live in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain.
It works similarly to the browser extension. You’ll also earn Honey Gold when you shop from participating stores. You can redeem your reward points through your desktop computer or laptop. To keep track of your Honey Gold points, look for the gold coin symbol in the app.
2. Amazon Best Price
Honey’s “Amazon Best Price” feature doesn’t only save you money. It’s also going to save you time.
It comes with all the tools you need to get better Amazon prices. Whenever you search the Amazon catalog, the app will compare different sellers and consider important factors, such as shipping costs and tax, which Amazon doesn’t always clearly tell you.
Where will you find this feature? Just look at Amazon’s default price button. Beside it is Honey’s “Amazon Best Price” button. Just tap it, so you can see the lowest best price for the product you want to buy.
3. Price History
So, you’re dying to buy an item. There’s only one problem: you’re unsure if you can afford it. This is where the “Price History” comes to your aid.
Price history keeps track of the price of different items on Amazon based on previous trends. You can see the detailed price history of an item as far back as 30, 60, 90, or 120 days ago. With the information you gather, you can decide to buy an item now or wait longer.
4. Savings Finder
The “Savings Finder” is their most popular tool. Like what the name suggests, it saves you money by automatically searching for coupon codes on more than 40,000 online stores. All you need to do is make one click for the app to apply any coupon codes as you checkout.
If you’re not ready to purchase an item, or if you want to save more money, use the “Droplist.” It’s Honey’s price tracking tool.
You can save all the items you’re not yet ready to buy to the “Droplist.” If the price of any of the items falls below the amount you chose, they’ll automatically alert you via email.
How to use this:
1. Choose any item you want Honey to keep an eye on you for 30, 60, 90, or 120 days.
2. Click on the cursive “h” icon, and then look for the “Add to Droplist” in the “Honey Tips” window to save the item.
Note: There’s no limit to the number of items you can save to the “Droplist.”
3. Decide for how long you want Honey to watch the item you saved. You also get to choose the percentage decrease of the price of a certain item. If the price drops below the percentage you set, you’ll receive an email from them.
Other things to keep in mind:
- You can change your price drop notification settings in the Account Settings under the Notifications tab.
- The app doesn’t factor in the costs for shipping, handling, tax, and other costs.
- This is only available for people in the US and selected countries.
6. Honey Gold
Gold is their free rewards program. When you shop from any of the 5,500+ participating stores, you get the chance to earn Gold points on the sale subtotal (excluding tax or extra fees) of eligible items.
Here’s how it works:
- Enable the Honey Gold rewards program for a store by clicking the “Activate” button.
- When you’re ready to checkout, click “Apply Coupons” when Honey appears to activate the Gold rewards.
- As a result, they’ll use the best possible coupon for your order, so you’ll have a higher chance of earning rewards and saving money.
- You can redeem your Gold points for electronic gift cards once you’ve earned 1,000 rewards points. Just visit the Redemption Page.
Note: All of your Honey Gold transactions will remain pending in your account for 2 to 14 days of fulfilling your eligible purchase. The “Exclusive Offers” allow you to redeem only once per recipient per item.
Benefits of Using the Honey App
Why should you use this browser extension? On their website, they listed down three major benefits of using the Honey app:
- Over 30,000 participating e-commerce sites
- An average of $126 yearly savings
- And an average discount of 17.9 percent
Stores That Honey Supports
Some of the stores that Honey supports include the following:
- Crate & Barrel
- Finish Line
- Forever 21
- J. Crew
- Papa John’s
How to Get Started in Honey App
Getting started is typically easy. Just follow these steps:
- Add the extension to your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or Edge). You can find it on their website, JoinHoney.com. (Or, if you want, you can download the mobile version of the extension, Honey Smart Shopping Assistant, from the Google Play Store);
- After your browser has installed the extension, it’ll direct you to your dashboard. On the upper right corner of your dashboard, you’ll find the ‘Join’ button;
- You have five ways to create a free Honey account. Sign up using any of these platforms: Google, Facebook, PayPal, Apple, and Email;
- Once you’ve created your account, you can now start looking for savings. Go to any of their affiliated shops, then click the small “h” icon on the upper right corner of your browser toolbar. On Google Chrome, you might find it in the Extensions icon (it looks like a puzzle piece). On Safari, the “h” icon is on the left of the toolbar; and
- A window will automatically pop up once they find coupons for that site. All you have to do is click “Apply Coupons.” If they find any active code for your order, they’ll add the one with the biggest savings to your cart.
Conclusion – Is Honey App Safe? Is Honey Extension Safe?
Honey isn’t immune to abuse. However, it’s generally safe to use.
What’s even better is Honey works. It’s a great tool for savvy shoppers, just like you, who want to snag the best deals from 30,000 plus partner merchants. With this on your browser, it’s easier to decide whether it’s time to buy now or wait a little longer to land a better deal.