Almost everything can be bought online these days. And with a smartphone and plenty of free Wi-Fi spots, it makes it so easy to shop on-the-go, in public. However, there are risks to this, such as hackers accessing your credit-card information.

The scenario is called identity theft, where criminals use your personal information for financial gains. Protect yourself with these tips shared by Mastercard and security specialist, the Cyber Security Agency.

1) Ensuring that all your card transactions are in order is a great start. Check your bank statements regularly to see if there are any discrepancies.

2) Avoid shopping on open and non-encrypted websites or public computers, as it opens your information to greater hacking risks. Shop on trusted and legitimate sites, such as those with a green lock symbol on the browser URL box; this SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) symbol means all data between shopper and website remain confidential. Try to use familiar websites, which your friends have patronised (and received their items as described), too.

3) Next, protect your data by choosing a strong password for online shopping accounts, and clearing your cache after shopping to ensure no confidential information is being stored. If you make your online purchases through your mobile device, you should also download anti-virus apps – from trusted app makers and brands like AVG – on your phone or digital tablet.

4) Lastly, do not share your personal details or passwords for online shopping accounts with anyone – even if they claim to be from a bank. If you’re sceptical, hang up and call the bank at its listed number.