In our highly digital age and the rise of the e-commerce industry, it’s now easier to make purchases and transactions on our mobile devices.  As such, online shopping and online banking safety are now more important than ever.

While this online availability makes it convenient and accessible for consumers, if we’re not careful, it can also be dangerous.  

In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, “more than 95,000 people reported about $770 million in losses to fraud initiated on social media platforms in 2021.”  Additionally, the FTC also reported 389,845 cases of credit card fraud, as well as 124,497 cases of bank fraud.

Learning about online shopping and online banking safety can save you from financial loss, stress, and even identity theft.  How can you protect yourself when you’re shopping or banking online?  Here are a few tips to keep you scam-free! 

Change your passwords regularly and use unique and strong passwords!

Avoid using personal information, consecutive numbers or letters, etc.  You should also try to avoid using the same password on multiple accounts.  

Check your bank statements regularly

Regularly checking your bank statements helps you stay aware of your financial situation. However, it can also help you spot potentially fraudulent activity (like a sudden withdrawal or a random purchase you don’t remember making), as well as hidden or excessive fees that are being charged to your bank account.

Try checking your bank statements at least once or twice a week.

Don’t shop or bank online while connected to a public Wi-Fi network

At the very least, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication on your online account or mobile banking app

This adds another layer of security whenever you log in and makes it less likely for your account to get hacked.

Check the website’s security before buying or even clicking anything

Secure websites have a padlock icon on the address bar. While not all web pages have this, it’s incredibly important to check for this symbol when entering your payment or personal information.

Before shopping from a new online store, do your research

Check their social media profiles, online reviews, website, etc.

Check the seller’s refund, return & repair policy, or ask them about it

If they can’t inform you about it or if they give vague answers, don’t transact with them.

Document your transaction

Screenshot chats, messages, prices, product listings, etc.

Online shopping and online banking safety are important for consumers to understand. To protect yourself and to learn more safety tips for online shopping, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

If you feel like your rights have been violated while shopping or banking online, SWC Law can help you learn more about your rights as a consumer and fight for the rights you deserve.