Microsoft Canada

Microsoft Canada

December 09, 2010 09:01 ET

Browse With Confidence This Holiday Shopping Season

Six tips to ensure your identity and your finances are safe while shopping online

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2010) - Statistics Canada recently released that in 2009, Canadians used the Internet to buy goods and services valued at $15.1 billion, up from $12.8 billion in 2007. In 2009, Canadians aged 16 and over used the Internet to place more than 95 million orders(i) - and many experts only expect these numbers to grow.

So, with the holiday season upon us and online shopping becoming one of the most popular and convenient ways to check those gift items off your list, it is important to ensure you not only feel safe online – you are safe.

Here some tips from Microsoft Canada to help keep your identity and financial information protected when shopping online:

  1. Stay on top of your financial activities. Don't wait until the end of the month to check your bank and credit card statements – check your transactions closely and often.
  1. Look for signs that the business is legitimate. Visit sites like and BizRate that feature customer evaluations. Look for third-party seals of approval that show the company abides by rigorous privacy standards, such as Better Business Bureau Online and TRUSTe.
  1. Look for signs that the website protects your data.  On the site where you enter your credit card information, ensure your browser's padlock graphic is closed/locked and that the address starts with "https://" as opposed to "http://" - the 's' means your data will be encrypted (scrambled) as it traverses the Internet.
  1. Use a filter that warns you of suspicious websites. Browser filters warn you about reported phishing sites and protect you by blocking your from loading the page.
  1. Beware of expired security certificates. Modern browsers like Internet Explorer 8 or higher make this easy - for sites that use security certificates, your address bar will turn green, feature an https:// address, as well as the closed padlock.
  1. Keep your web browser updated. None of these tips will truly benefit you if you don't have an updated web browser – browsers like Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 Beta include built-in default settings like the industry-leading SmartScreen Filter, which will help protect you from malware and phishing.

With the newest Internet Explorer browser, online peace of mind is possible in just a few easy steps. Plus, with the right browser you can even shop for that special gift knowing your family won't accidentally find out – with features like InPrivate Browsing, your online shopping won't leave a trace! 

For more information on how to browse with confidence with the world's most widely-used browser, click here.


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