Shopping online during the holidays certainly has its benefits: you can sleep in, avoid the crowds and hunt for bargains in your pajamas. During the past couple of years, the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has seen a huge spike in online purchases, too, and has come to be known as Cyber Monday.

Across the country, people are logging in from home (or from work!) to take advantage of some serious cyber deals. But, be careful, because Cyber Monday is also a huge day for computer hackers and online scams. You don't want to spend your shopping money on computer virus removal, so be smart today, and throughout the holiday season.

Your email inbox, Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites will be full of advertisements for great online deals, but just keep in mind that if a deal sounds way to good to be true, it probably is. If you want to check on a sale, open a new tab and search for it that way, rather than just clicking on the link.

When purchasing an item online, also be sure to check that you are only entering your billing information on a secure web page (the URL should read https://, because the "s" stands for secure).

In addition, make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date, and never download a file that comes attached to an online offer. A legitimate website will never ask you for your date of birth or Social Security number, so if those questions come up, beware.

If you think that your computer may have contracted a virus, don't hesitate to contact your local Maryland virus removal center as soon as possible.