Here are a few key things to remember to avoid scammers or being hacked while shopping on line.

Make sure your computer and other devices are secure

When an update is available on your phone, tablet or other device, make sure to install it —software updates typically include any security flaws or potential problems.

Also, make sure your device is free of malware before making any online purchases.

Mobile security

Make sure your device is always running on the latest software. Apple frequently makes updates available, which often fix any potential security issues that could put you at risk. ensure that the latest patches or updates are applied.

Beware of fake email scams

Shopping online typically involves email confirmations related to any purchases you make, and scammers use several different email scams to trick consumers into handing over their personal information. Plus, record online shopping means a lot of packages are being shipped, and fake package tracking emails are a very easy way for scammers to steal consumers’ information.

Here’s how to spot a fake package tracking email.

If you receive an email that turns out to be a scam and you click on any links provided in the email, typically a virus or malware is immediately loaded on to your computer or other device. And then… nothing happens. You forget all about it while the virus lurks in the background — capturing your every keystroke to get access to things like your username and password for access to personal account such as banks or credit companies.

How thieves disguise scam emails as legit notifications

Thieves have found ways to make email scams look like they’re coming from legitimate groups and companies, including charities, retailers, credit card companies, banks, shipping companies (UPS, FedEx) and more.

So, if you receive an email you weren’t expecting — or even a “confirmation” email you were expecting — do not click on any of the links provided in the email. The safest way to find out if the information is legitimate is to open a separate browser, or even use a different device, and sign in to the company’s official website directly.

You can also call the company directly to confirm any information that was sent to you via email.

Never shop online using public Wi-Fi

Scammers can easily steal your information when you’re using an unsecured network. If you use a public computer, make sure to always completely log out of every website and the computer itself. When it comes to using free Wi-Fi networks, never sign in to any of your accounts that contain sensitive personal information, such as your bank account or any account that contains your bank, debit or credit card information.