Offers easy-to-implement safety advice to protect connected devices
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Millions of people worldwide rang in 2011 with the latest in technology gadgets and devices, jumpstarting the New Year with the most innovative smartphones, savviest tablets and PC/Mac laptops on the market. But many consumers neglect to take the necessary steps required to protect themselves from the dangers of cybercrime associated with their new prized-possessions and tech gadgets.
If you were one of the millions of adults and kids who received tech gifts during the holidays, beware. Computer and cybercrimes have risen by more than 22% according to the most recent statistics from 2009. McAfee Labs™ predicts an increase in mobile, social media and PC-based threats in 2011, with cybercrooks finding new ways to do harm via all types of connected devices. And millions of new device owners will become easy targets if they don't take proactive measures to ensure their security.
Here are some practical tips from McAfee to ensure optimal Internet safety and security in 2011:
Be aware that threats aimed at mobile phones are growing — Use software that backs up smart devices and use strong discretion when storing, saving or editing personal information on your smartphone or device. Don't keep all of your personal passwords on your device, and avoid using it to store financial information like credit card and bank account numbers.
Keep in mind that gaming and entertainment devices are now Internet-connected — Many people don't realize that their new gaming console may represent another port of entry for cybercrooks into their household. Some Internet TV applications can expose personal information, so be sure to install anti-virus software, two-way firewalls, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and safe search capabilities, just as you would on a PC. Block free browser access via these devices and use parental controls wherever possible to ensure the safety of children who play interactive games.
Use technologies to protect information on USBs — Secure USB sticks by encrypting information, making it unreadable to someone who has taken or found it. In addition, install security software to protect portable hard drive devices and never leave such devices unattended.
Make sure that you are using a comprehensive security software platform for your PC— Free point solutions may work well for specific concerns and known threats, but it won't protect you against emerging threats and is usually only being offered to get you to buy more comprehensive software.
Rather than going with the cheapest solution on the market, research the capabilities of your security software package to ensure that it is comprehensive — meaning it has anti-virus with cloud computing, a two-way firewall, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and safe search capabilities.
Free anti-virus software doesn't provide complete protection — These products typically deliver only basic level protection and aren't up-to-date with the most recent or emerging threats. Install security software that provides protection using cloud computing, since multiple servers can provide current data and resources on-demand.
Make sure to transfer your PC best practices to all of your Internet-connected devices — If you have an Apple device, Apple's MobileMe service is available, providing tools for synching, backing up and securing data. Consider installing security software for new Internet connected devices such as smartphones, and make sure the device's Wi-Fi is connected to a secure network.
Pay attention to your children's online activities — Communicate with children about cybercrimes, monitor their web activity and consider keeping the family computer in a common space to minimize their exposure to inappropriate content. For additional advice on child safety, visit the McAfee Family Internet Safety Center at www.mcafee.com/family and 10-Step Internet Safety Plan For Your Family.
Search and shop safely — Before submitting credit card numbers or other personal information, always read the online vendor's privacy and security policy. Consider using a trusted website safety advisor, such as McAfee® SiteAdvisor® software, included in all of McAfee consumer security suites, to determine which ecommerce sites are safe. Also, look for the McAfee SECURE™ trustmark before heading to the check-out counter.
Back up critical information — Guard against data loss by utilizing a regular back-up software program to ensure that all critical information and personal files are safe in case of emergency.
"STOP. THINK. CONNECT." Consumer Advice:
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the first-ever coordinated message to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. The message was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations.
The coalition advises consumers to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
When you cross the street, you look both ways so make sure it's safe. Staying safe on the Internet is similar. It takes some common sense steps -- Stop. Think. Connect.
Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
Think: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your families.
Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you've taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone.
McAfee, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee secures your digital world. http://www.mcafee.com
McAfee, McAfee Labs, SiteAdvisor, and McAfee SECURE are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. © 2010 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved.