Canadians continue to embrace online shopping. Last year we bought more than $15 billion of goods and services, up from $12.8 billion in 2007. According to global Internet security provider Trend Micro, increased online activities and financial transactions also mean more opportunities for scammers and hackers. And the holiday season is a perfect time to take advantage of weary shoppers looking for a great deal or gift.

“The convenience of online shopping doesn’t have to come at the added cost of being the victim of cyber scam. Much like the real world, if an online deal looks too good to be true, it probably is,” says Trend Micro Canada’s Ian Gordon, Director of Marketing.

To protect Canadian cyber shoppers this holiday season, Trend Micro offers five of the most popular cyber scams disguised as holiday deals and what you can do to protect yourself:

Holiday Cyber scams to Avoid

1. Online gift cards offered from an unknown e-tailer, an unsecure URL or individuals reselling online

2. An email offering this season’s hottest laptop or video game for only $100

3. Charities that want your money for a good cause but are vague about their work or offering tax receipts for more than your actual donations

4. Sharing too much information on social media sites like Facebook about your holiday plans

5. Infecting your computer with viruses from email and websites promising fun holiday videos or music