The weather is turning colder and thoughts of warm cider and hot coca remind us of things to come. The holidays are almost here and you’ll soon be making your own holiday shopping list and checking it twice. With predicting a 13-15% increase in online holiday shopping this year, holiday scammers and thieves are sure to increase their efforts too. Following these 5 simple safe online shopping tips will help you avoid scams and malware this holiday season:

 Keep a clean machine: Make sure that all of the devices you use for online shopping this holiday season have the most up-to-date operating systems, security software, apps and Web browsers installed.

 Don’t use unsecured Wi-Fi networks: We know it’s tempting to connect to the nearest wireless network to check pricing while inside the store to make sure you are getting the best deal on holiday gifts, but these networks are vulnerable to network attacks.

 Think Before You Click: Every year scammers come out with new ways to try to steal your holiday shopping money. Think twice about clicking on the links in emails you get this holiday. Be sure the links are going where you expect them to go and if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 Protect Your Money: Keep a close eye on your bank account over the holidays. The faster you catch fraudulent activity, the less time thieves have to siphon out your money.

 Create Strong Account Passwords: When creating new accounts for online shopping websites, use a password manager that includes a password generator to create random passwords for you and save them. Plus, you don’t have to remember them for next year!

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