McAfee steps up online safety education drive

McAfee steps up online safety education drive

Firm offers ebook for families and a quiz for teens

To help educate internet users about the potential dangers of the online world, security firm McAfee has created a free 10-step internet safety plan.

Available through the McAfee Advice Center, the ebook is broken into separate sections each aimed at providing safety guidelines for various age groups and experience levels, including kids, teens, parents, teachers and community groups.

In conjunction with the guidelines, there is also a quiz aimed at that challenges teens' knowledge of online risks and their ability to stay safe from spyware, spam, scams and identity theft.

"The days when people went online only to gather information and send email have changed," said Todd Gebhart, senior vice president and general manager of Consumer, Mobile and Small Business for McAfee.

"Cyberspace is an exciting environment full of opportunity, but it is also increasingly risky, with numerous threats emerging daily. Parents need to be on guard whenever their children venture online, so we've developed some simple steps to help ensure that young people's online experiences are safe and pleasant."

According to recent research, teens and kids are known to engage in risky online behaviour. For example, while 51 per cent of teens have downloaded music, the search term 'digital music' often leads to drive-by download sites that can populate a computer with spyware, viruses and exploits without users' knowledge. In addition, 45 per cent of young people said someone they've never met in person has asked them for personal information online.

The guidelines also include a section on how to save chat session logs, block users, report intruders and it provides recommendations for age-appropriate browsers and search engines, among other tips.

McAfee hopes that its new ebook will help families work together to set boundaries and create a list of rules to follow.