June is National Internet Safety Month

The Internet is an indispensable tool that citizens, corporations and governments all over the world have come to rely on. There are tremendous benefits to the World Wide Web including: having the information highway at your fingertips, being able to find and purchase products and services from anywhere, working from home, connecting with distant friends and family and saving time by conducting various transactions right from your couch.

The problem of course, is that all these conveniences have led to gaping security holes that allow criminals from all over the world to compromise your computer and various accounts which of course leads to identity theft and financial loss.  Even scarier is when criminal predators use the Internet to exploit children in various ways.

What this means is that all of us need to increase our security intelligence by understanding what to look out for and what systems need to be put in place so we can reap the benefits of the Internet safely and securely.

Since June is Internet Safety Month, it’s a good time to review essentials that all of us should be aware of every day.

  • Protect your personal information. Don’t give out personal data unless it is a trusted source requesting it and a secure site accepting it.
  • Look for httpS in the address bar when you are shopping online or on a site where you are entering personal information.
  • Update your browser with the latest version and use the highest security settings.
  • Update all your devices’ operating systems whenever a new version or critical security patch is available.
  • Beware of requests coming in via email asking you to update personal information. It’s best to go directly to sites instead of clicking on links in emails, or text messages.
  • Teach your children the “rules of the road” for the Internet and make sure they understand what is and isn’t acceptable online.
  • Think before you post online. It’s always good to use this rule of thumb—everything you post online is public and available forever—even if you use the highest security and privacy settings.
  • Keep your devices updated with the latest version of antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-phishing and make sure to have a 2-way firewall.
  • And remember, if something sounds too good to be true—it usually is, so don’t fall for the scam.

We can all do our part to stay safe and be better digital citizens by staying educated on the latest threats and scams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)

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Do You Know What Your Teens Are Doing Online?

A new study called “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents” (conducted by Tru Research and commissioned by McAfee) shows an alarming 70% of teens have hidden their online behavior from their parents, up from 45% in 2010. And yet half of parents live under the assumption that their teen tells them everything he/she does online.

It’s perfectly normal for teens to be less than forthcoming during these years when their hormones are raging and teen angst boggles their brain and body. However the Internet has drastically changed our culture and teens today have access to an incredible amount of information that they didn’t have, just a decade ago.

This instant access to information and digital devices is having an impact on our teens that many of us as parents don’t realize. Some of the revealing consequences are:

  • Friendships – 20% of teens said they had ended a friendship with someone because of something that happened on a social network.
  • Physical safety – 7% feared for their safety because of something that happened online, and 5% reported getting into a physical fight because of a problem that started online. More than 1 in 10 (12%) of teens have met someone in real life that they only knew online.
  • Criminal record – 15% said they have hacked someone’s social networking account and 31% have pirated music and movies.
  • Cheating – 48% of teens admitted to looking for test answers online, and 16% have used a smartphone to do this.
  • Innocence – 46% of teens report accidentally accessing pornography online and 32% reported accessing pornography intentionally.

And what about the parents? The study showed:

  • 1 in 3 believes their teen to be much more tech-savvy then they are, leaving them feeling helpless to keep up with their teen’s online behaviors.
  • 22% of parents do not believe their kids can get into trouble online.
  • Less than 1 in 10 parents are aware their teens are hacking accounts or downloading pirated content.
  • 78% of parents are not worried about their kids cheating at school.
  • Only 12% of parents thought their children accessed pornography online.

Parents, you must stay in-the-know. Since your teens have grown up in an online world, they may be more online savvy than their parents, but you can’t give up. You must challenge yourselves to become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe and stay educated on the various devices your teens are using to go online.

As a parent of two young girls, I proactively participate in their online activities and talk to them about the “rules of the road” for the Internet. I’m hoping that this report opens other parent’s eyes so they’ll become more involved in educating their teens with advice and tools.

For more information, please visit:

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)

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Safe Searching on Your Mobile Device

The web and especially the mobile web can be a minefield of malicious links luring you to click, so bad guys can infect your device. Search engines do their best to filter these sites out but nefarious criminals have found ways to get their scammy pages to the top of search through a process called “Blackhat search engine optimization.”

Criminals create fake websites and then use the same techniques as legitimate online businesses regarding search engine optimization, marketing, and online advertising. They use keywords to boost rankings on Internet search engines, causing their spoofed websites to appear alongside legitimate websites.

It is also much harder to tell if a URL is legitimate since due to the limited screen space, mobile browsers often truncate web addresses. Also, if you’re clicking on a link to a site from an email you received, it’s hard to see the full email sender’s email address making it hard for you to know if it’s coming from a fake person or company.

That’s why going it alone in search isn’t a good idea. Just like it is essential to have antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall on your PC, it is equally essential to have protection on your mobile. McAfee Mobile Security provides comprehensive mobile security that includes antivirus, anti-theft, app protection, web protection and call and text filtering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web protection comes with McAfee Mobile Security and protects you from potential phishing sites, browser exploits, malicious links within text messages, email, social networking sites, and QR codes. WithMcAfee blocking risky links at the places you visit, you now can click, search and surf worry free. These site ratings are based on tests conducted by McAfee using an army of computers that look for all kinds of threats. ―

To help yourself stay protected you should:

  • Always double-check the web address of a site when doing a search on your mobile phone
  • Never click on a link in an unsolicited email or text message
  • If you land on a site that contains poor grammar, misspellings, and low-resolution pictures be
    very suspicious
  • Rather than doing a search for your bank’s website, type in the correct address to avoid running
    into any phony sites, or use your bank’s official app
  • Monitor your monthly bills to make sure there are no suspicious charges
  • Use comprehensive mobile security like McAfee Mobile Security

 

Of course, just using common sense and taking the time to closely check the links and messages you receive will go a long way in increasing your mobile security. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right proceed with caution.

 

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)

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