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How to Protect the Family Computer

by ‎11-08-2010 01:13 PM - edited ‎11-08-2010 02:02 PM

tracy-mooney.jpgToday’s guest blogger is Tracy Mooney, McAfee’s Chief Cyber Security Mom.  A mother of three, Tracy shares her insights about keeping families safe online.

 

I love music and movies. I would venture to say that it is one of the things that brings my family together. But no matter how much I love Johnny Depp, Muse or even Lady Gaga, I just don’t search for them or their music or movies online very often.

 

So when McAfee released their 2010 Digital Music and Movies Report: The True Cost of Free Entertainment (.pdf), I didn’t think it affected me. I mean, I don’t go actively searching for free music or free movies.

 

Then it hit me! I may not search for music and movies, but my kids might. They certainly have more time on their hands than I do. They also may be more likely to type “free” before whatever they are searching for, which can result in a 300 percent increase of landing on a website that could infect your computer, according to the report.

 

If your family is like mine, you have a shared computer that the whole family uses. I know I am not always aware of what the kids are searching for, so I make sure I use every bit of technology at my disposal to keep my computer protected. It is a pretty big investment after all, but more than that, the family computer can house all types of personal information making it easy for criminals to steal my identity.

 

What about you? Do you enjoy surfing for celebrities? Do you ever try to find a free version of a popular song or moviecomputer_family.jpg online? Do you stream television shows or movies on your computer? Do you have kids that do any of these activities? If you do, you might want to take a few minutes to read the report and learn how to play it safe.

 

Here are a few tips from the report that you can discuss with your family over dinner tonight:

 

Important Tips to Stay Safe

 

  • Avoid searching for “free” content.  Instead, stick to legitimate, paid sites to get music and movies.
  • Avoid clicking on links in banner ads on music, movie and download sites that aren’t well-established.
  • Use comprehensive security software, such as Verizon Internet Security Suite Powered by McAfee, to protect against the latest threats.
  • Use common sense: Don’t click on links posted in forums or on fan pages.
  • Use a safe search plug-in, such as Verizon SiteAdvisor Powered by McAfee, to warn of potentially risky sites in search results.
  • Realize that the more popular a topic, movie or artist is, the more risky the search results.

 

 

Comments
by Gold Contributor V on ‎11-10-2010 05:45 AM

Heather_Wilner wrote:

...Don't click on links posted in forums or on fan pages.


Now I can't click on the link to read the report! What do I doooooo?! *head explodes*

by on ‎11-10-2010 10:20 AM

Hopefully the Intel acquisition will make McAfee what it once was, great. Other than ePO, your antivirus product leaves much to be desired.

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with FiOS since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

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