Beware holiday shopping malware attacks

(CBS) -- As the holidays draw closer, be wary of scammers looking to steal your information while you do last minute online shopping.

CBS reports that according to data gathered from Clearwater, Florida-based Enigma Software, malware infections went up by almost 124 percent from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. That comes after a doubling of infections that happened during the same time last year.

Customers are particularly vulnerable during this holiday period when shoppers are searching for deals and online shopping hits its peak. Scam artists use these factors to infect consumers with malware by tricking people into clicking on malicious links. Many of them are delivered via emails disguised as shipping notifications and special offers.

Anyone can be a target as 89 percent of consumers are likely to buy a gift online and 69 percent expect to shop for gifts entirely or almost entirely online. Luckily, more customers than not (53 percent) are taking precautions to protect themselves from malware attacks.

If you are one of the 89 percent, be mindful of potential scams, especially when it comes to phone apps. A survey done by the Consumer Technology Association reported that for the first time ever, more smartphones were used than desktop computers for Black Friday shopping.

Check out any apps before you download them. Red flags such as grammar and spelling can be an indicator that the app is a scam. Update your phone's operating system and run regular scans to ensure your phone is running as it should.

Security expert Accenture Security recommended avoiding using public WiFi for online shopping and varying your usernames and passwords for each retailer you use.