For most people, the holidays mean a lot of shopping. In today’s society, online shopping has become much more popular, and many people utilize the web for their holiday shopping, rather than physically going to a store. As you may already know, online shopping can be dangerous because making a purchase requires putting your credit card and/or personal information on the internet.

Here are a few tips to remind you how to protect your information when online shopping for the holidays.

Keep a clean machine

As always, make sure the software on whatever device you plan on using is up-to-date. Software updates on tablets, desktops, and mobile devices usually include security fixes and upgrades that can protect your device against malware. This is an important step to take before starting your online holiday shopping.

Be wary of your wifi connection

You might want to get a little shopping done on your tablet or smartphone while you are waiting on line at the grocery store, or in the waiting room at a doctors office. However, always be wary of unsecured networks. You shouldn’t share your personal information on the web while on a wifi network that doesn’t even require a password.

Protect your personal information 

Pay attention to the kind of information being collected when completing a transaction online. If it seems suspicious that the site is asking for certain information, like your social security number, you should do your shopping elsewhere. Only fill out the required fields and review the website’s privacy policy to make sure you understand how and where your information will be stored.

Keep a paper trail

This might be tedious extra work but it can benefit you in the long run. Try your best to print and save records of all your online transactions, including product descriptions, prices, receipts, terms of sales, and copies of emails you might have exchanged with the seller. This way, you will have documented proof if something goes wrong.