June 7, 2010 7:16 pm

New Advertising Campaign for Internet Explorer 8 Kicks Off

Every day we use the internet to shop, book travel and do our banking. To do this we share personal information such as our name and address, credit cards numbers and enter our passwords. We need to be able to do this with confidence, knowing that our information is being used only by the company or organization that we intended to share it with.

Many of us know that criminals are increasingly trying to steal our personal information any way they can. Some attempt to install malware on our PCs or phish for our personal information by pretending to be a legitimate organization. We hear about the importance of online security all the time, but if you’re like me, you probably think it couldn’t happen to you. We’re all savvy consumers, right?

We wanted to raise awareness of just how easy it is to fall victim to these risks and to highlight some of the ways that Internet Explorer 8 can help to protect you. That’s what our new advertising campaign, which kicked off tonight during Fox’s Lie to Me (8/7 Central) and Good Guys (9/8 Central), is all about. We thought the most powerful way to do this would be to tell the story through your eyes, our customer. There are countless real people around the world confronted with online scams every day.

To prove just how vulnerable your personal information is, Internet Explorer 8 re-recreated notorious internet scams–live, off the web– in the most street-smart city in world: New York. We used hidden cameras to film reactions of real people. In the first spot we asked people to provide very personal information in order to open a new bank account which would give them a cash reward of $500. We learned that, just as it is online, it can be hard to tell the difference between the scammer and the real thing. We filmed a lot of people and nearly all of them were convinced our “bank” was the real deal.

By the time we got to some of the more outrageous questions, folks started to be suspicious. At that point we revealed the cameras and asked everyone to personally shred the paper on which they’d written their personal information. But, ask yourself, would you have been able to spot the difference straight away?

While consumer vigilance is the most important defense against online scams like this (you can get some great hints and tips here www.microsoft.com/protect ), we can all benefit from a safety net. As a leader in web browsers, we believe it’s our responsibility to help. For example:

Internet Explorer 8 SmartScreen Filter automatically blocks web pages which look suspicious or have been reported as suspicious and warns you of the risks. Every day the SmartScreen Filter blocks 3 million suspicious pages.

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Domain Highlighting also reduces risks by clearly identifying the real location of the page you are viewing and helping you check that it really is the page you were expecting and not just one that looks like the real thing.

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Internet Explorer 8 also helps protect your privacy with InPrivate Browsing and InPrivate Filtering. InPrivate Filtering in Internet Explorer 8 helps protect your privacy by preventing information about the Web sites that you visit from automatically being shared with other sites.

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You’ll see the ads on TV and online beginning tonight, and you can view them at www.ie8protects.com. Finally, we want to say a very big thank you to everyone who took part and was willing to be help raise awareness of this issue.