Posted by Jacqueline BeauchereDirector, Trustworthy Computing Communications, Microsoft
It’s no secret more and more consumers are turning to the Internet to find those perfect holiday gifts. For most, the hustle and bustle of this time of year only makes online shopping even more attractive. According to a recent comScore report, Cyber Monday 2012 marked the heaviest online spending day in history, with Internet sales totaling $1.465 billion, up 17 percent from 2011. In addition, it was the second day this season (the first being Black Friday) where sales surpassed $1 billion.
Perhaps some of the gifts being purchased include the latest Internet-enabled gadgets like the new Microsoft Surface, a Windows Phone 8 device or a Kinect for Xbox 360? No matter what you may be buying for family and friends this season, it's important to remember to exercise the safest habits and practices when shopping online – in December and throughout the year. For instance, always do business online with reputable stores and sellers, and give only to legitimate charities. While most popular online merchants offer safer and more secure ways to make online purchases, it’s best to think like a “Grinch” and beware of offers that seem too good to be true. Evaluate businesses by consulting sites such as www.Epinions.com and www.BizRate.com, and check the genuineness of charities at www.charitynavigator.org. Review buyer feedback about auction sellers, which can be a key indicator of reliability.
To further avoid getting “Grinch-ed,” consider these important tips:
Microsoft’s commitment to helping keep people safer and more secure online is in force year round. We refer to this work as fostering digital citizenship – encouraging and motivating all individuals to be responsible, informed, and appropriate users of technology. We offer a host of resources at our newly designed Safety & Security Center. And, unlike much you’re likely to encounter this holiday season, they’re all free. So, help yourself to a sizable portion of online safety advice and guidance, and consider following us on Facebook and Twitter.