Unfortunately, despite all the good cheer, the holiday season is a prime time for cyber criminals looking to take advantage of online shoppers and prey on vulnerabilities.
A recent survey from PriceGrabber reported that 41 percent of consumers plan to shop online next Monday -- up from 37 percent in 2011 -- so there's definitely plenty of incentives for cyber criminals to creep up then too.
The good news that it's not that difficult to avoid these traps with a little knowledge and awareness.
Here are some of the top tips from anti-virus solutions provider Trend Micro. They're in no particular order as they should all be taken into account when shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday -- or really any day of the year:
Use strong passwords and use unique passwords for your most sensitive websites
Scan your mobile devices regularly for malicious apps.
Don’t click on links; rely on bookmarks for sensitive sites instead.
Watch out for fake apps that are posing for more popular, real apps.
Be wary of free apps that ask for too much personal information.
Go easy on promo links. If it’s too good to be true, it likely is.
Use remote security apps to backup and wipe your phone or laptop in case you lose it.
Use Parental Control features to monitor what information your kids might be giving out.
For a more fun but still informative approach to understanding safer online shopping, navigate yourself through the infographic below: