Trust & Safety 2017-06-10T18:26:23+00:00

Trust & Safety

Count on peace of mind while navigating and working in our global online workplace.

Hiring right

REPUTATION MATTERS

Job Success scores, the Top Rated program, and detailed profile information make it easy to find freelancers with stellar work histories.

CHAT WITH YOUR TEAM

Upwork Messages lets you have real-time conversations before and after you hire. Keep communication open and expectations clear to enable a safe and successful workplace.

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Keeping your work safe

FIXED-PRICE PROTECTION

Escrow lets you double-check finished work once milestones are met – before you release pre-funded payments to your freelancer.

HOURLY PAYMENT PROTECTION

Work Diary helps ensure that an hour paid is an hour worked – giving you an easy-to-access billable time system with work details and in-progress screenshots.

Support and assistance

24/7 HELP

Get help from our customer support team anytime, from anywhere. They’re living, breathing humans, here to help you solve Upwork-related issues.

DISPUTE ASSISTANCE

Disputes rarely happen. But in the event they do occur, Upwork helps with dispute resolution.

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Getting hired

REPUTATION MATTERS

Your success revolves around doing great work for great clients. Start by double-checking client trustworthiness through detailed profiles. Leverage our marketplace feedback system to browse comments from freelancers who’ve previously worked with the client.

CHAT WITH YOUR CLIENT

Upwork Messages lets you have conversations in real time before and after you’re hired. Keep communication open and expectations clear to enable a safe and successful workplace.

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Working safely

FIXED-PRICE PROTECTION

Projects funded with escrow ensure that your work is funded before you even begin working on your client’s milestones.

HOURLY PAYMENT PROTECTION

Make sure an hour worked is an hour paid. As outlined in Upwork’s hourly escrow instructions, our Work Diary ensures that freelancers logging hourly time using the Upwork Team App are paid for hours worked.

PRIVACY ON YOUR TERMS

You decide whether your profile and work are public or private. You can also change your privacy at any time in your profile settings. Read our privacy policy here.

Support and assistance

24/7 HELP

Get help from our customer support team anytime, from anywhere. They’re living, breathing humans, here to help you solve Upwork-related issues.

DISPUTE ASSISTANCE

Disputes rarely happen. But in the event they do occur, Upwork helps with dispute resolution.

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Staying safe and secure online

TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR INFORMATION

At Upwork, we take great measures to help ensure a safe and thriving online workplace. This includes security models that flag suspicious activity, tools that scan site content, and entire teams dedicated to freelancer and client success. But keeping our community safe takes teamwork. Here are some general tips and resources for best protecting yourself and your information online – whether on Upwork or elsewhere.

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Keeping your computer safe

It’s important to keep your computer secure, both inside and out. Consider the following:

  • Lock, log off, or turn off your computer when not in use
  • Schedule recurring computer scans using antivirus software
  • Keep your antivirus software, browsers, plug-ins, applications, and operating systems up-to-date (or set them to update automatically)

Safeguarding your private information

Treat your personal information like you would your wallet. Here are some tips:

  • Choose strong, unique passwords (mix letters, symbols, and numbers) and change them often
  • Don’t click unknown links, or enter your credentials on unfamiliar sites
  • Don’t leave your computer unattended, and always log off if using a public computer

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Recognizing and avoiding phishing

Phishing is when unscrupulous users try to steal your financial information by impersonating a person or a business. A phishing attempt may:

  • Invoke a sense of urgency to encourage you to act before you think
  • Come from a familiar sender for believability
  • Contain suspicious URLs or attachments, often with shortened links
  • Include legitimate images like logos

Educating yourself and trusting your instincts are key to protecting yourself:

  • Avoid sharing personal information when it is requested through email
  • Ensure that the message content makes sense, and confirm with the actual business when in doubt
  • Type URLs directly into your browser to prevent yourself from being routed to fake login pages
  • To report phishing attempts on Upwork, please contact us.

Protecting yourself from malware

Malware includes computer viruses, spyware, and other intrusive software installed on your computer without your consent. To avoid malware:

  • Scan downloaded attachments for malware before opening them
  • Trust your browser’s security warnings for potentially malicious files

If you notice your computer slowing down, serving pop-ups or ads, or any unexpected changes in your browser, have your computer scanned by an antivirus program. Learn more.

To report possible malware on Upwork, please contact us.

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Reporting a concern

FLAGGING A SUSPICIOUS CLIENT OR FREELANCER

To report a user, contact Customer Support. Or click “Report Message” within Upwork Messages to flag a specific message. To report a job or a user profile, please use the “Flag as inappropriate” link on the page. For more detailed instructions, refer to our help article here.

REPORTING A SUSPECTED VULNERABILITY

If you believe you’ve discovered a potential security vulnerability on Upwork, please email us as soon as possible while following the Guidelines for Responsible Disclosure.

FAQ

Freelancer profiles include detailed information such as work experience, resumes, portfolios, number of hours worked through Upwork, and skills tests taken so you can better know who you’re hiring. We also calculate Job Success scores and display confirmed feedback from past clients to give an overview of freelancers’ client satisfaction histories. Top freelancers in the marketplace are highlighted with Top Rated badges, which give clients information about freelancers’ reputations. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to do the final screening to help ensure that the freelancer is a great match for you and your project.
Job Success scores are a complete reflection of client satisfaction, with high scores indicating a track record of meeting or exceeding work expectations.

Learn more here.

The Top Rated program highlights freelancers who have achieved an impressive reputation in the Upwork marketplace.

Learn more here.

You can evaluate your prospective clients using data such as the number of jobs posted, total spend in the marketplace, feedback history, track record for awarding posted jobs, and the amount of time a client has spent hiring on Upwork. You can also learn more about the client and the exact work specifications by communicating with them through Upwork Messages or by video conference before accepting a proposal.

Learn more about the marketplace feedback system here.

It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want when creating a job post or a proposal. When hiring for your project, maximize your chances for success by inviting freelancers with the right skillsets to match the job. As a freelancer, protect yourself by only accepting contracts with reasonable requirements.
With escrow, clients pre-fund work and release funds to their freelancers as projects are completed or milestones are met – knowing that they’ll be able to review and approve delivered work before releasing payment. Escrow also gives freelancers the comfort of knowing that a project is funded before they begin working.

Learn more about escrow for clients here, and for freelancers here.

Hourly work is protected by Work Diary – an easily-accessed billable time system that shows clients both hours worked and in-progress screenshots to verify hours. Freelancers bill their clients for hours through Upwork’s automated weekly billing system.

Learn more here.

Clients can learn about dispute assistance for fixed-price and hourly contracts on the Upwork Help Center. If you’re a freelancer, you can learn about disputes for fixed-price contracts here, and for hourly contracts here.
We take security seriously at Upwork. If you think you’re the victim of a possible scam, immediately contact Customer Support – or use one of the “Flag as inappropriate” links throughout the site.
Our security model flags fraudulent activity to help ensure a safe workplace. We’re also here to help you succeed along the way, with 24/7 Upwork customer support and dispute assistance. Once a freelancer receives payment for work completed on a project, our Terms of Service specify that ownership of that work transfers to the client. For details, see Section 8.6 of our User Agreement. It also explains that freelancers and clients can agree on different or additional terms.

Educating yourself and trusting your instincts are key to safety. Here are certain types of scams and abuse to know and avoid.

  • Phishing: Prevent unscrupulous users from trying to steal your passwords. Double check that links or HTML files clients give you don’t lead to fake login pages.
  • Free work fraud: Don’t start work before the official contract start date. Never pay anything to work for a client, even if they claim that the money will be reimbursable.
  • Check cashing fraud: Report clients who ask you to process PayPal payments, or request favors to cash or deposit checks and money orders in order to send the money somewhere else. These checks or money orders are most likely fraudulent and your bank can hold you liable for the funds.
  • Direct payments: Let our trust and safety team help keep you safe. Upwork screens all payments sent through our secure payment system. Help us by reporting anyone who asks to send or receive money outside of Upwork.

Upwork is highly protective of your privacy, only disclosing information permitted by our Privacy Policy. This may include the rare instance of subpoena or other legal requirements, which you’ll find outlined in our protocol here.