Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - According to a recent survey conducted by Nielsen, 72 percent of consumers prefer to shop online via their mobile device or computer versus shopping in stores.

It's clear why shopping online is the preferred method, as it saves time and eliminates stress. However, when it comes to safety, only one-third of respondents from Nielsen's survey felt online shopping was the safest way to purchase items.

With the holiday season upon us, millions of consumers will turn to the Web for their gift purchases. But how can shoppers stay safe and protect themselves from credit card and identity theft or compromised passwords? To start, make sure you download a secure browser on your computers, tablets and phones. For example, when you download a Web browser from the nonprofit organization Mozilla Firefox, you'll be alerted when accessing potentially fraudulent sites and have access to tools that will help with everything from keeping your gift ideas safe from that special someone to having your holiday lists, recipes and directions readily available while on the go.

Holiday shopping should be fun and feel safe, so here are a few additional tips from Mozilla Firefox to have the best online shopping experience:

• Buy from trustworthy online stores: Look for seals of approval given by third-party organizations such as TRUSTe or Better Business Bureau Online—if you're not familiar with the site, you may want to reconsider purchasing from them.

• Keep your Web browser updated: Make sure any software you download to your desktop or your mobile device—including apps and add-ons—stays up-to-date. You can easily check for updates in the menu options of most software.

• Look for the "S" for security: Never purchase anything from a site that doesn't have SSL encryption. Make sure the site's address starts with https:// instead of http://, and don't provide your credit card information via e-mail.

• Keep your information private: Most Web browsers, like Firefox, offer a "Do Not Track" feature that lets you say you don't want to have your information tracked by websites. First introduced by Firefox, this feature will tell advertising networks, other websites and applications that you opt out of tracking for purposes like advertising.

• Secure your passwords: Using a variety of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation, create a unique password for each account you log into. If you are worried about forgetting it, you can easily and safely store your usernames and passwords with the Firefox Password Manager.

Once you've protected your Web experience, it's time to shop! Looking to share wish lists with friends and family? Want to chat with a friend about holiday party plans while shopping online? Firefox is the only browser to integrate social sharing with sites like Facebook. You can also stay organized (and never forget a gift) with your holiday shopping by using Firefox Sync, which lets you take bookmarked websites and products from your mobile phone to your home computer.

Now that you're equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to have a safe and productive Web experience, you can have fun purchasing gifts and hunting for bargains this holiday season and all year round. Happy shopping!