Beware of the '12 Scams of Christmas'

Marcus recommends that you scrutinize the seller information and pay attention to how they are asking you to pay. He also said the safe browsing technology can warn you if the seller is directing you to a malware-ridden site.

McAfee Researcher: Be Educated as You Shop, Search Online

10. Password Stealing Scams Rampant During Holidays

Knowing that people are likely to make online purchase during the holidays, McAfee warns that password theft is rampant around this time.

Using low-cost tools that reveal your password and install malware that can record keystrokes, cyber thieves can access bank and credit card details.

To stay ahead of them, Marcus said to be vigilant about which sites you visit, click before you think and make sure your security software is updated.

11. Bank Online -- Carefully

During the holidays, we give a lot, but that means we spend a lot too.

McAfee researchers believe that cybercriminals up their e-mail banking scams around the holidays because people monitor their purchases more closely.

Be careful of official-looking e-mails from financial institutions, McAfee warns. Cyber thieves send e-mails asking consumers to confirm account information, including user names and passwords, and warn that accounts may become invalid if they don't comply.

Whatever information they glean, they can sell through an underground black market.

Before you click on a link in an e-mail from your bank, make sure it was actually your bank that sent the message. Look carefully at the address and trust your gut. If it looks suspicious, open up a new browser and type in your bank's Web address on your own.

12. Scammers Can Hold Your Files for Ransom

Once scammers have weaseled their way on to your computer, one of their options is to act like virtual kidnappers and hijack your files.

They encrypt the files to make them unreadable and inaccessible and then demand that you pay up if you want them back.

But by following the above recommendations, you should be safe.

As you shop and celebrate this holiday season, Marcus said to remember this: "We don't think it's doomsday, we just think it's always appropriate to raise awareness around the holidays so we can empower people."

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