In the run-up to Black Friday weekend, make sure to fraud-proof your holiday shopping plans.
Retail sales this November and December are expected to tally $655.8 billion, up 3.6 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Nearly half of the average shopper's $998 budget will be spent online, according to Deloitte – including 35 percent via a personal computer, 7 percent via a smartphone and 5 percent via a tablet.
Tech-heavy shopping habits make a tempting target for thieves looking to snag your personal or financial data, security experts say. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, the average daily number of malware infections was up 84 percent compared to a month earlier, according to data from Enigma Software Group.
"This is the time of year to be that extra bit vigilant, that extra bit cautious," said Geoff Webb, vice president of strategy for information technology firm Micro Focus.
Here's how to keep your data safe: