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Keep Your Family Safe Online  

Protect Yourself
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Cybersafety is a serious issue for every family. McAfee offers a number of resources for families looking for help. If you feel you or someone you know has been victimized online, report all crime immediately to your local police department. If you do not have their phone number, please call 411.
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Report Cyberbullying

  1. If you feel you are in physical danger, or the stalker knows where you live, call 911 immediately or contact your local police and the nearest FBI field office.
  2. WiredSafety Group's recommends the “Stop, Block, and Tell” approach for children who have been harassed by cyberbullies. . Have your child Stop correspondence, Block the offender from your communication lists, and Tell a trustworthy adult.
  3. Contact the following non-profit experts on child safety:
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Report Cyberstalking

  1. Stop correspondence.
  2. Block the offender from all communications.
  3. Contact the harasser's ISP and file a complaint. To find the sender's ISP, choose to display full headers in your email application. You'll find a "Received:" line in the email message that contains an eight- to 12-digit number separated by periods. You can run a "Who Is" search on this number to find the sender's ISP. Geektools provides such a utility.
  4. Consider changing all online accounts.
  5. Learn more at the Stalking Resource Center hosted by the National Center for Victims of Crime.
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Report Child Sexual Exploitation

  1. If your child is in immediate danger, call 911 or contact your local police (If you do not have their phone number, please call 411.) and the nearest FBI field office.
  2. If you would like more information or assistance in reporting, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678 or visit
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Protect Yourself:

Online Threats

Educate yourself about the many tools available to familiarize yourself with today's threats. The main threats to your computer, and therefore to you, are:
  • Unsolicited email (spam) and phishing emails that entice you to purchase from fraudulent companies, become a cybermule for money laundering, or otherwise target your personal information.
  • Malicious software that steals your information or otherwise controls your computer. Viruses, Trojans and spyware are some of the most common ones. Learn more about threats here.
    • Download free McAfee SiteAdvisor® software, which rates the safety of websites as you search.
  • Identity theft is usually facilitated by malware and social engineering tactics. Criminals take possession of your personally identifiable information (PII), sometimes including credit card information, bank account information, and/or Social Security number and use it for fraudulent purposes. Identity theft can also occur when you conduct transactions in the physical world and someone steals personal information such as name, address, phone number and Social Security number. Criminals can also steal your wallet, raid your mailbox or rummage through your trash to get your personal information. Knowledge of the tricks and scams that thieves use to try to obtain your personal information can go a long way toward preventing identity theft. Be vigilant about sharing your personal details, and try to stay up to date on the latest scams and tactics used by criminals. Below is a list of ways you can educate yourself:
  • Social Networking: More than ever, working professionals, teenagers and younger children are taking advantage of the benefits of socializing and networking with friends and colleagues online. These are beneficial tools that open up a broader realm of possibilities. But they can also be fraught with risks if you do not understand how to protect yourself and your children. Familiarize yourself with best practices for using these websites so both your children and yourselves can take full advantage of the benefits and understand where to go for help if and when you need it. Read more in McAfee’s Transact Securely tips.

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Threats to you, or to members of your family, can include cyberbullying and other forms of online harassment. All 50 states have a harassment statute, with varying degrees of strength. All apply online as well as offline, with varying degrees of success.

When minors are harassed online, it’s called “cyberbullying”
When adults are harassed online, it’s called “cyberharassment” or “cyberstalking”
WiredSafety recommends the following if you are harassed:

  1. Do not respond. Don’t threaten them, argue with them or acknowledge the communication.
  2. Check your system for potentially unwanted programs to ensure the harasser has not installed them on your system.
  3. Change all profile, network and forum passwords and follow online best practices.
  4. Save all communications in digital form, including the address lines .
  5. Note that, before accusing a specific person, many cybercriminals pose as someone else.
  6. Evaluate the situation the risk to determine if you feel you are at serious risk and contact your local police department.
  7. Keep a lower profile than usual on your favorite online forums and report any harassing activity to the site administrators.
  8. And if there is a possibility that the harasser is in your household or has access to your computer, do not “save your password” or login on that machine.

If you think you know who it is, take it offline if you believe they are safe. Some cybercommunications can be easily misunderstood. They may not have meant to hurt you. Or someone else might have been using their account to get them into trouble with you or others. If the person doing this owns up to it in person and is not a risk, use it as an opportunity to talk it over.

    To prevent cyber harassment, WiredSafety recommends:
  • Avoid provocative screen names
  • Lurk before you post to get a sense of the tone of the site or forum Be cautious before getting into heated or non-PC discussions. They breed hotheads.
  • ThinkB4uClick –proofread your communications before sending them. Include a “☺” or a “jk” (just kidding) to help clarify tone. Make sure you send it to the right person. What is acceptable to a close friend may scare a stranger who has a similar screen name as the intended recipient.
  • Follow Parry Aftab’s Internet Golden Rule – don’t do anything online you wouldn’t do offline.
  • Remove your ex from your Facebook friends group, and think about removing their “spy” friends too.
  • Be careful about which people you friend.
  • Use a disposable free email account when cyberdating or communicating with strangers online. If it feels uncomfortable at any point, you can close it without it affecting your life.
  • Don’t post or send pictures that you would not want parents, professors, prospective employers, the police or predators to see. Sexing and sexting are not limited to kids.
  • Think secure! Always use a good security suite, sweep for spyware and use trusted sites. The more vulnerable your devices are, the more at risk you are.

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