The holiday shopping season is nearly upon us, and more and more of us are turning to the Internet for our purchases. Online shopping is nice — no parking hassle, no crowded malls. But there are five things you should know before you point, click and ship.

1. Don’t use a debit card for online shopping

If there is a problem, a debit card could give phishers or hackers access to your entire checking and/or savings account. Plus, most debit cards don’t have the same protections that credit cards offer.

2. Use a separate email account for your online shopping

You can set up a free email account on Google’s GMail or Yahoo among others.

3. Never enter personal information into a pop-up screen

Unauthorized pop-up screens can be created by identity thieves and the screen may be completely unrelated to the websites you are visiting. Legitimate companies don’t ask you to enter personal or financial information on pop-up screens.

4. Never respond to emails asking you to “confirm” recent transactions after you shop

These are phishing scams that coincidentally are sent around the time you shop.

5. Trust your instincts — if you feel something isn’t right, investigate more or buy from another vendor