The holiday season is already in full swing with both physical and online stores decked out in red and green.

Online shopping ads are targeting those who hope to get their Christmas shopping done early, and it’s expected black Friday and Cyber Monday sales will again reach new heights this year.

However, online shopping also means handing much of your personal information including your name, address, phone number and credit card information. RCMP are reminding online shoppers to be cautious when trying to score the best deal on the must-have holiday items.

Cybercrime continues to be an issue and RCMP say it’s important to take steps to protect your identity online. They suggest visiting only trusted websites and using secure networks for any financial transactions. Websites that use HTTPS rather than HTTP are more secure because they encrypt sensitive information, though it’s not a guarantee that your information won’t be compromised.

Here are some other tips to stay safe online:

  • Download apps from trusted sources
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi for banking and financial transactions
  • Use a unique password for every social media account
  • Back up important data
  • Be cautious when accessing unknown website links or attachments
  • Delete suspicious emails
  • Don’t save credit card information on websites
  • Watch credit card statements for any unknown charges

RCMP say having strong passwords is also an important and easy part of keeping your information secure. Mounties suggest changing passwords often and using a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols and always turn on your computers firewall protection.