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Protect your holiday shopping online

(NC)—If you're like a growing number of Canadians, you love the convenience of holiday shopping online. No wonder.

There are no slippery roads, no long lineups, and you can find something for everyone on your list with just a click of the mouse. But with this convenience comes certain risks.

Cyber criminals see the holidays through a different lens and they often use this busy time of year to target people who might not be watching their cyber security. To help you stay clear of those who are bound to be on Santa's 'naughty' list, the federal government has posted some advice for safe online shopping at This includes tips to keep your identity, plus personal and financial information secure, as follows:

• Look for a lock symbol on a website or “https://” at the beginning of the website address (the “s” means “secure”), an indication that the site is encrypted and safer to use for online transactions.

• Use only secure Wi-Fi to shop online. Don't use public Wi-Fi to do any kind of financial transaction like banking or shopping.

• Read the shopping website's privacy policy and find out how your information will be used.

• Pay by a secure method like a credit card. Do not send cash.

• Check your credit card statements, and if there are any unauthorized charges, call your credit card provider to report it.

• Consider using a separate credit card for online purchases, so it's easy to track.

• Don't respond to an email or a pop-up message that asks for financial information. Legitimate companies don't ask for this information this way.

• Don't allow auto-fill for your passwords or personal information, like your address, and be cautious with your credit card information – make sure it's shared on a secure site.

Learn how to protect while you connect at

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