Credit card users urged to stay safe online this Christmas

Unfortunately, it is not just Christmas shoppers who will be busy surfing the internet over the next few weeks, as plenty of cyber criminals are also expected to come out to play.

AMP Capital Shopping Centres suggested earlier this week that Aussies are set to loosen the shackles on their wallets and bank accounts this Christmas, despite the tough financial climate.

With so many people using their debit and credit cards to purchase gifts and festive provisions via the internet, it is inevitable that thieves will be upping their attempts to get hold of people's details.

This means it is more important than ever that people do all they can to protect themselves when buying items through the web.

McAfee – the world's largest technology security company – has warned Aussies to be wary of a number of scams that will be doing the rounds in the coming weeks.

"The number of Australians doing their Christmas shopping online is set to double this year and with that comes greater opportunity for cybercrooks looking to put a dampener on the silly season," said Sean Duca, enterprise solutions architect at McAfee Asia Pacific.

He added that Australia has one of the world's highest ratios of smartphone and tablet users and a lot of Christmas shopping will be done through these devices.

Worryingly, the company revealed that 84 per cent of people would be willing to share their personal details with somebody if it meant getting a bargain or some form of special deal.

This plays right into the hands of scammers, many of whom will produce bogus deals as a ploy to obtain people's information.

Malicious mobile apps are also proving problematic and McAfee has warned Aussies to be careful when downloading new applications, as some are designed to steal your details.

Phishing emails – messages that contain links to dangerous/rogue websites – are also rife, the organisation stated.

Mr Duca suggested offers that seem too good to be true normally turn out to be bogus.

"The first step in ensuring your personal details stay safe and secure at this busy time is to check your security protection – on your mobile devices as well as your PC," he added.

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