SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Amanda Wiener does most of her Christmas shopping online, some of it from her smartphone. "I think it is more convenient and much easier than going to the store," she said.
Although she knows the dangers of shopping online, Amanda didn't know that using her smartphone to make purchases puts her information more at risk.
According to the National Retail Federation , half of Americans who have a smartphone plan to use it to shop this holiday season, but this year, there has been a 76% jump in the amount of so-called "malware" targeted at mobile devices.
"Now that I know that a smartphone is not as secure as a computer and a computer isn't that secure, I definitely won't do that anymore," Wiener said.
Experts say mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers just don't have the same level of software security that desktop computers do; making them more vulnerable to cyber criminals.
"There's just infinitely more opportunities for bad guys to break into your email to break into your phone book, and to take advantage of all the things that hackers can do when they own one of your gadgets," said Bob Sullivan of MSNBC.com.
Desirae Daniels of Springfield offered one way to avoid becoming a victim. "I only use sites that I know are the actual company. I don't go through things that look sketchy," Daniels said.
Other ways to make sure you stay safe online: If the web address is ".exe" instead of ".com" or ".org," don't go to it and never give private information to get something 'free' online.