Holiday shoppers can find some great deals on Black Friday, but an increasing number of consumers are buying their Christmas gifts online on Cyber Monday to avoid all the crowds and long lines. Last year the total sales for Cyber Monday increased 17% year over year, and even more shoppers are projected to buy online this year. If you plan to shop online today, or this holiday season, be sure to follow these important tips to stay safe online. 1. Update your browser and operating system: It’s important to make sure you have the latest software updates for your web browser and operating system. Software companies routinely release updates that include important security patches, so double check to make sure your browser and operating system are up to date. 2. Stick to well-known online retailers: Protect yourself from fraud and scams by shopping with big retailers that you trust such as Amazon, Walmart, or Best Buy. If you find a deal that is too good to be true from an unfamiliar retailer, make sure the company is legit before you place an order. 3. Only shop on secure sites: When you are ready to review your shopping cart and check out make sure the site is secure. Look at the site URL to make sure it starts with “https” rather than “http.” The “S” stands for secure and it lets you know your transaction data is encrypted. Most browsers will display a lock icon or change the color of the URL when you visit a secure site, so be on the lookout. 4. Use a credit card for online payments: Most credit card companies offer some type of purchase protection in case you need to dispute any charges. Some debit cards with some banks don’t offer the same type of protection, so check out with a credit card when possible. 5. Print or save your receipts: It is important to save a copy of your online transactions so you can monitor your credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions. Did you purchase or receive a new smartphone this holiday season? Make sure your mobile device is protected with NQ Mobile Security.