The key to staying protected is staying alert.


James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and despite a worldwide pandemic, shoppers spent a record $9 billion on Black Friday back in 2020, an increase of 21.6% over the previous year, according to Adobe Analytics.

And with all that money flowing from one wallet to another, cybercriminals will unfortunately look for a way to get a piece. Although scammers work year-round, it’s during the holiday season that they look to exploit the spirit of giving, which proves lucrative.

The scams are wide-ranging: As retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart roll out deals over the holidays, fraudsters put out elaborate websites to trick…

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