The annual ‘Black Friday' saw a 20 per cent growth in online shopping as the world prepares to buy on ‘Cyber Monday'.

Beth Strobel, director at PayPal, said that between 9 and 10am was the busiest online shopping times on Black Friday, while a spike in online shopping activity was seen on 16th November, with 28 per cent more payment volume than an average Monday.

PayPal mobile payments also spiked, with Black Friday 2009 mobile payments jumping 140 per cent, compared to that of an average Friday. The main shopping day however is today. F-Secure claimed that the products most likely to be targeted by cybercriminals include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, merchandise related to the Michael Jackson film ‘This Is It', the Flip UltraHD Camcorder and Nintendo Wii.

It also said that search engine scams are particularly dangerous this holiday season, as online shopping is predicted to be relatively strong compared with traditional retail. This, coupled with the fact that more and more grandparents, typically a less tech-savvy demographic, are shopping online could result in a search engine scam blitzkrieg around this holiday season's most popular gifts.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, said: “Though they are not new, search engine scams have become a highly lucrative tactic for cybercriminals. We strongly urge people to only shop on trusted ecommerce websites, using their individual site search engines. If that's not a possibility, perform a ‘safe link' check on unknown URLs with technology such as F-Secure's Browsing Protection.”

Erin Earley, international marketing coordinator, communications and PR at Lavasoft, said: “If you're a savvy shopper, scouring the web to find the best deals and bargains today, make sure to keep this in mind: Cyber Monday will also bring with it an upswing in cyber scams.

"In fact, our security analysts at the Malware Labs at Lavasoft have already reported a 390 per cent increase in the amount of malware detected and added to Ad-Aware's threat database, compared with the same period last year.”