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Share Your Heart, Not Your Identity: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe on Valentine’s Day

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I love Valentine’s day, it’s the one day of the year exclusively dedicated to sharing: we share our feelings, our affection, and special gifts with our loved ones. It’s a great time to show the people in our lives just how much they mean to us. Thanks to social media and mobile friendly retailers, giving your loved ones the world is just a few clicks away.

Tech devices have made it so much easier to share our hearts with the people we care about. But, could our emotional vulnerability ultimately leave us vulnerable to cyber-attacks? Historically, Valentine’s day has been a big day for cybercrime. Criminals have found clever ways to take advantage of retail, online dating platforms, and social media to launch attacks against romantic hopefuls. If you’re wondering how to avoid the most common V-day scams, here are a few things to remember when sharing the love online, and some useful tips to keep your precious data safe.

Dating Apps Are a Data Goldmine

Apps like Tinder or Zoosk are very attractive to hackers around this time of year. Considering the amount of intimate details shared on these platforms, dating apps are prime targets for cybercriminals looking to gain access to personal data and even payment information. In fact, online dating has seen a growing number of cyber-threats since 2015.

If you’re wondering “what’s the worst that could happen if my Tinder account is hacked?”, look no further than the hundreds of pages of data that the app keeps stored on its users. This particular dating app doesn’t just match singles looking to spark a connection, it also collects behavioral data, such as how often you connect, when and where you connect, and even your “likes” and posts from other associated accounts. Some of this data might seem trivial to unsuspecting users, but if placed in the wrong hands this information could be detrimental to the security of your identity.

Florist Are a Favorite for Phishing Scams

A bright, beautiful bouquet of roses is my favorite gift to receive when February 14th rolls around. Unsurprisingly, flowers make one of the most common gifts given around Valentine’s Day but, sending and receiving flowers may not be as harmless as it seems. In 2016, cybercriminals leveraged the popularity of flower services to attack unsuspecting vendors through a series of DDoS attacks designed to extort money from them. While these attacks did not result in leaked information, it’s important to be cautious of which vendors you allow to keep your credit card information on file. After all, you’re expecting your florist to deliver an assortment of beautiful flowers, not a bouquet of personal data to cyber criminals!

If an attack on your friendly florist isn’t enough to peak your senses, hackers have also been known to take advantage of admirers looking to send flowers. Cybercriminals prey on the likelihood that you’ve sent flowers to your loved ones to launch phishing scams, using bogus packages and “Failure to Deliver” notices to collect your data.

Social Media Isn’t Always Your “Friend” 

Valentine’s day is easily one of the most socially sharable days of the year. With so much love in the air, you can’t help but share pictures and posts about your loved ones with other friends and family online. Although most people associate cyber-attacks with some form of malware, many do not realize how vulnerable they are when sharing personal information on social media. Through social engineering, hackers use the information you share online to exploit you. The more personal information you choose to share on social media, the easier it is to exploit that information. Through social media, hackers can find out information about your job, the places you frequent, and even your mother’s maiden name. But don’t worry, we’ve got a few tips up our sleeve to help you share all of the love you want across social.

Seasonal events, like Valentine’s Day, present an opportunity for cybercriminals to leverage their schemes. But don’t be deterred from sharing the love— here’s how you can connect securely and keep your data safe from hackers:

  • Get friendly with your privacy settings on your social media apps. Social platforms like Facebook are making it easier to adjust your privacy settings through a  “privacy center” so you can stay on top of the information you share and who you share it with.
  • Be careful of which accounts you link. Being connected to your online community is great, but linking accounts across platforms only gives cybercriminals easier access to your data. While Tinder does require you to link your Facebook account to sign up, you can turn off Tinder Social so that Tinder won’t be able to post anything to Facebook. And, when possible, avoid linking your dating profiles to other personal accounts.
  • Think before you click that link. Hover over it to see if the URL address looks legitimate to avoid phishing scams. If you know you didn’t send flowers, send that scam to your spam.
  • Double up on your security software. There are plenty of apps that keep your phone safe from malicious attacks. Consider using a service for your phone that offers web protection and antivirus.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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Are We Dating Our Devices? How Our Online Interactions Impact Our Personal Security

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L is for the way you look at your technology, O is for you’re not the only one looking at it. We L-O-V-E our connected devices, our apps, and all the online social interaction that comes with them. But unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who love them, as cybercriminals are attempting to capitalize on our connected lifestyles in order to swoop valuable personal information. Let’s explore why this is happening, how our increased device use impacts our lives, and what we can do to show our personal security some love.

Sharing data during modern dating

We love our devices largely for the connectedness and information they provide us with. For example, modern romance has shifted towards dating apps largely because these apps connect us with world quickly and easily. On these dating apps, you share information about yourself with strangers. But could you be sharing that info with strangers that aren’t even on the app? Just a few weeks ago, security researchers discovered that popular dating app Tinder still lacks basic HTTPS encryption for photos. Just by being on the same Wi-Fi network as any user of Tinder’s iOS or Android app, potential hackers could see any photo the user did, or even inject their own images into his or her photo stream. These crooks could even watch a user swipe left or right. By trying to stay connected online, these dating app users could be helping cybercriminals connect to their personal data instead.

The effects of our device devotion

Ironically enough, our efforts to engage socially online don’t exactly help us strengthen real-life relationships. In fact, we know from last year’s Connected Relationships survey that as we use our connected devices more and more each day, our relationships are negatively impacted by that use.

The Connected Relationships survey respondents said that they spend an equal amount of time at home online (38%) as they do interacting with others face-to-face. And 40% felt their significant other paid more attention to their own device when they were together one-on-one. You could even say that, for many, these devices have become the “other (wo)man” in the relationship.

Though devices have managed to cause some minor riffs between couples, that doesn’t stop couples from sharing even when they shouldn’t. Out of those surveyed, nearly 30% of couples share passwords to social media accounts, 28% share passwords to personal email accounts, and most shockingly, more than 20% share their work-specific devices and accounts with their significant other.

Spread the love to your personal security

So, whether you’re sharing your private data with a dating app, or your account info with a loved one, it’s important you show your personal security some love too. To do just that, follow these tips:

  • Limit how personal you get. Whether its Tinder, another dating app, or just any regular app, only provide the program with information that is absolutely necessary — this especially goes for financial data. Additionally, take the time to remove unnecessary personal information from your devices in general that could compromise your security. The less personal data you have on a device, the safer your information will be.
  • Make passwords a priority. Ensure your passwords are secure and strong by including numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as symbols. If you’re someone who knows the struggle with generating and remembering multiple unique passwords, use a password manager, like the True Key app. A password manager can help you create strong and secure passwords and log you into your favorite websites automatically using multi-factor authentication.
  • Focus on what really matters. We love our devices, but it’s important to disconnect every now and then to spend time with the important people in our lives, like friends and family. Don’t worry: your social networks will be right there waiting for you when you get back.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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8 Easy Ways to Hack-Proof Your Family’s Smartphones

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Smartphones have changed the face of parenting in profound ways. But for all the efficiency they’ve introduced into family life, those same devices simultaneously bring risk.

With smartphone and tablet use growing at ten times the rate of PCs, hackers know precisely where to shift their focus these days. Cyber thieves love smartphones because once inside, they can access private information, location, email, photos, social media, and bank accounts.

If you’re a parent, a smartphone breach is an even bigger deal. Shoring up the security gaps in your phone isn’t a big deal but what about the other four or more smartphones under your roof? If you were to multiply the risk, you’d soon realize the potential havoc that’s looming.

While you can’t shut out every digital risk, you can tackle the most prominent ones. Let’s get started!

8 Ways to Hack-Proof Your Family’s Smartphones

  1. Think Like a Criminal. Work a potential hack backward. Look at every possible entryway into your phone and ask yourself, “How could I get into this phone if I were determined?” Then, methodically lock up each digital door. Challenge yourself to find every security gap. Examine your password strength, social profiles, web browsing security, general and app settings.
  2. Juice Up Your Password. How do you create a password that a criminal can’t hack? With great intention and a few extra layers. 1) Avoid the common error of using easy passwords such as “12345” or “password.” Get complex and create a combination that isn’t logical. 2) Use multi-factor authentication (MFA). Having multiple factors to authenticate your phone use such as your fingerprint, face, or a trusted device, increases security. Most smartphones offer MFA so, even if it seems tedious, use it. The more factors — or digital layers — you can combine, the more protected your smartphone will be. Too many passwords crowding your brain? Consider a password manager.
  3. Trust No App. Not all apps you download to your phone are created equal. Many third-party apps do not go through rigorous security vetting of Google or Apple. Hackers can infect apps with malware or viruses that demolish your phone’s security and allow hackers access to your data. Beware. Examine all apps, read reviews, and steer clear of apps that ask for too much access. Even legitimate apps can be used for malicious purposes such as listening in via a phone’s microphones and even spying using a phone’s camera. To pull back an app’s access, just go to your settings. On Android: Go to Apps and Notifications, choose App Permissions and make changes. On iOS: Go to your settings, select Privacy, and make changes to app permissions accordingly.
  4. Passcode, Track Your Phone. Be proactive in case your phone gets stolen or lost. Make sure your device is passcode and fingerprint protected. Take a few minutes to enable phone tracking. For Android, you’ll download the app Find My Device and for Apple use Find My iPhone. Make sure those apps are always enabled on your phone. If your phone is lost or stolen it can be tracked online.
  5. Log out, Lock Online Services. If you bank, shop, or access sensitive accounts via your smartphone do it with extreme care. This means logging out and locking those accounts when not in use and avoiding using auto-login features. Instead, use a password manager app the forces you to re-enter a master password each time you want to access an account. It’s worth the extra step. An essential part of this equation is disabling keychain and auto-fill in your browser. You can do this by finding your web browser in Settings and toggling each option to OFF. Also, avoid using public Wi-Fi for accessing sensitive accounts or conducting any transactions.
  6. Turn Off Bluetooth. Bluetooth carries inherent vulnerabilities and is another open door for hackers to enter. When Bluetooth is turned on it is constantly looking for other open connections. Hackers work quickly through open Bluetooth connections, and often victims don’t even know there’s been a breach (there’s no evidence a phone has connected with a criminal source). Make sure to switch Bluetooth off if you are not using it.
  7. Take Updates Seriously. Because people design phones, phones will be flawed. And, it’s just a matter of time before a hacker discovers and exploits those flaws. Developers use updates to combat all kinds of breaches, which make them critical to your phone’s security. Along with staying on top of updates, consider the added safeguard of antivirus, identity, and privacy protection that covers all family devices.
  8. Stop! Don’t Click that Link. Unless you are 100% sure of the legitimacy of a link sent to you through text, email, or direct message, do not click it. Random links sent by hackers to access your data are getting more and more sophisticated as well as destructive.toni page birdsongToni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @McAfee_Family. (Disclosures). 

 

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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The Legacy Continues – What Black History Month Means to Us

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At McAfee, we celebrate the diverse backgrounds of our global workforce year-round, but during the month of February, we are proud to celebrate Black History Month! McAfee has an ongoing commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where employees have the freedom to bring their full, authentic selves to work.

This month we are featuring our McAfee African Heritage Community (MAHC). The MAHC is committed to delivering education, culture awareness, mentoring programs, community involvement and advancing diversity and inclusion within McAfee’s culture.

Get an inside look on what Black History Month means to our leaders of MAHC and how they’re continuing the legacy here at McAfee.

Living the Legacy at McAfee

Kristol

“As a child raised by parents of the 50’s, I am grateful for their sacrifice and fight for racial equality in the workplace. My mother was the first African American woman hired at one of the largest car manufacturing plants in Dallas, and my father retired from the same company after 36 years of dedicated service. As President of McAfee’s African Heritage Community, my goal is to spread knowledge of our culture to employees of all ethnicities and increase diversity while celebrating McAfee’s mission.”

Philip

“The celebration of Black History Month is truly a celebration of American history. There lies no separation between the two. I am proud to be a member of such a transcendent culture formed by a group of brilliant, strong, courageous, and passionate individuals whose influence has spread around the world. It is through people like my “extended work family” in the McAfee African Heritage Community that our ancestor’s legacy continues.”

Shellee

“As an African American woman, I am on a journey to continue to break down barriers for progress for black women in corporate America. I work hard to leave the “I can too” ideology upon my daughters and those around me.  McAfee is working to make strides in the realm of diversity and I am proud to be a part of our African Heritage Community which allows me a platform to do my part in lighting a path for others.”

Kendrick

“When I study our history, I see that who we are and what we represent is pure greatness. I am grateful for the sacrifices and achievements made by our ancestors and feel empowered to carry forward that same level of greatness. Working at McAfee provides me a platform to demonstrate that greatness with my fellow African Heritage Community members and help others to learn and understand our culture.”

Norma

“I am passionate about learning and educating employees about the history of my African heritage and the influence it has had in my life, America, and the world. I am grateful that McAfee has a culture that allows us to educate and share our unique perspectives with others about our culture and community. In educating ourselves and others, I hope to continue to influence an environment of inclusion at McAfee.”

Kent

“As a child of Trinidadian and Grenadian immigrants, my parents dream was to offer a better way of life for their future generations. I am proud to say that I am the embodiment of their dreams, and daily I am offered the opportunity to help debunk cultural stereotypes and leave a legacy for my future generations. Fostering diversity within McAfee creates relationships with people from different ethnicities and encourages compassion amongst peers and is a major part of what makes it a Great Place to Work.”

Edward

“I strive to be the embodiment of my ancestor’s dreams. From the bluegrass hilltops of Kentucky to the shores of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, I am who I am because of every struggle and every sacrifice and lesson. Their legacy continues through me…I am my brother’s keeper. McAfee’s African Heritage Community gives me the opportunity to share the wisdoms, stories, successes and trials of our culture with employees and embrace the growing diversity within McAfee.”

Toni

“McAfee’s mission is noble and inspired by the power of working together and uniting to overcome the greatest challenge of the digital age—cybercrime; It’s easy to lead diversity and inclusion efforts at a company committed to making the connected world more secure. My history is a legacy of dreamers, doers, and innovators who have contributed an overwhelming amount of sacrifice so that we live a secure present and future world. I’m proud to join in with McAfee’s African Heritage Community to celebrate Black History not only in February but every day.”

Kevin

“I use Black History Month as a time of reflection on all the accomplishments by people of color that have contributed to making the world a safer and more comfortable place. For example, Garrett Morgan, inventor of the traffic light, or Dr. Mark Dean, inventor of the color PC monitor and the 1st Gigahertz chip. I’m encouraged seeing the next generation understand that they too can leave a positive impact on our world regardless of race, gender, or religion.”

 

For more stories like this, follow @LifeAtMcAfee on Instagram and on Twitter @McAfee to see what working at McAfee is all about.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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Meltdown and Spectre Aren’t Done Just Yet – New Malware Uses Exploits to Potentially Attack Browsers

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We kicked off 2018 with two powerful new exploits: Meltdown and Spectre. And since the discovery of Meltdown and Spectre on January 3rd, vendors have been hard at work issuing patches to remedy their nasty side effects – with the majority supplying fixes within the first week. But, unfortunately, some malware makers have still found ways to leverage a handful of these exploits. In fact, according to the AV-Test Institute, there are currently 139 malware samples out in the wild that appear to be related to the recently reported CPU exploits and have been designed to attack web browsers running JavaScript.

So, why is this still happening? Though operating system vendors, chip makers, and browser makers have released patches to mitigate the attacks, that doesn’t exactly mean all systems everywhere have been locked down, especially as new malware strains continue to emerge. In fact, the CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753, and CVE-2017-5754 exploits are still being abused by cybercriminals, who are leveraging them to potentially attack browsers that support JavaScript and WebAssembly.

What’s more – if they successfully infiltrate these browsers, cybercriminals can steal passwords and other personal data. So, it’s crucial users are vigilant and take the necessary precautions to secure their personal info while surfing the web. To do just that, follow these tips:

  • Exit out of your browser window. If you’re not actively using your browser window, close it. This should decrease your chances for attack and also conserve energy in the process.
  • Update everything regularly. Along with updating every type of device impacted by Meltdown and Spectre, be sure to update your browser as soon as an update becomes available. That way, you can apply any additional patches that are created to combat these new malware attacks.
  • Surf the web safely. As I noted in my last post about Meltdown and Spectre, McAfee products are not affected by this exploit. Therefore, after you’ve updated your devices with the latest security software, it’s time to take the next step in personal security by locking down your browser as well. You can do that by installing McAfee WebAdvisor, which acts your own personal safety advisor for your online activity.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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McAfee Relaunches Award-Winning Online Safety Program for Kids

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With an updated curriculum and new cybersecurity career module, McAfee’s Online Safety Program for Kids is set to reach new heights

Online safety is an area that now touches nearly everyone – from corporate CEOs and governments to grandparents and children. It’s also why nearly 130 countries come together on Safer Internet Day to raise awareness for and work together to create a safer digital world for all.

This movement, which McAfee proudly serves as an official sponsor of, reminds us that we each share a responsibility to build a better internet, a responsibility which McAfee takes very seriously. Which is why, as part of Safer Internet Day activities this week, we’re announcing the global relaunch of McAfee’s award-winning Online Safety Program for Kids.

This program has long been at the heart of who we are at McAfee. Every year hundreds of McAfee employees donate their time and skills to teach online safety to teachers, parents and children in our communities. And along the way we’ve forged important strategic relationships to scale our reach even further. Take our Bletchley Park partnership in England, where our dedicated Cybersecurity Exhibition Zone was opened by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, back in 2014. This week alone, the site has seen more than 200 students take part in cybersecurity education sessions run by McAfee employees as part of Safer Internet Day.

So how do we improve on Royalty as part of our relaunch you may be asking? The new program includes an expanded curriculum designed by our team of engineers, data scientists, threat researchers and more to cover the latest in emerging threats including social media privacy, cyber ethics, geotargeting and phishing, to name a few.

And in the midst of a global cybersecurity talent shortage (an estimated deficit of two million professionals by 2019), it’s more urgent than ever to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity heroes. So now, our Online Safety Program for Kids includes an education-based module with a greater emphasis on exposure and role modeling. This empowers both young girls and boys to ask questions and learn about a career in data science, threat research or engineering, from our real-world experts who only too familiar with not just the career paths, but the rewards associated with working in cybersecurity.

I’m also pleased to say, that driven by employee demand, McAfee’s annual Global Community Service Day, will place cybersecurity education for children front and center with our more than 7,000 employees worldwide encouraged to share their skills and knowledge within their local communities.

Thank you to McAfee’s employees worldwide who volunteer their time to grow McAfee’s Online Safety Program for Kids and invest in our youth globally. And just looking at our program numbers you can see why I’m in awe and inspired by this amazing team who work hard every day to deliver on our pledge to keep the world safe.

Interested in making a positive difference not only for customers and partners, but for the communities in which we live? Then, join us. Search our jobs. Together, we can make the world a safer place.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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Indian Digital Citizens Need to Better Balance Their Device Use and Manage Online Safety

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As Bryan Adams croons in the background (Everything I do) I do it for you…. and you give the last touches to your Valentine’s Day preparations, don’t forget to do that one thing that is playing a big spoilsport in relationships today- put your devices away! After all, you don’t want a phone buzz to spoil that perfectly romantic mood.

Good idea you say? But unfortunately, many don’t. McAfee released findings from a recent India survey, “Three’s Company: Lovers, Friends and Devices” that aims to understand the online behavior of people and how it affects their real-world relationships with friends and significant others. The survey findings highlight the need for better digital balance and greater vigilance while sharing personal information.

Consider the facts discovered by this year’s survey:

  • 67% of the people in a relationship have felt that their significant other was more interested in their internet connected device than in them.
  • 77% of the respondents feel that the use of technology gets in the way of relationships
  • 89% of Indians would be concerned if their significant other did not take the necessary steps to protect their personal information.

No doubt devices have become an integral part of our lives and we cannot imagine a life without them. We need them to connect, share, learn and discover. They can also prove to be life-saving at times. Having said that, it is also imperative that we do not let devices take over our lives, or our special times with the people who matter most to us. Face-to-face interactions are very important, whether it be with your significant other, or kids, or friends.

A comparison with the 2017 survey shows an increase in undesirable device habits over the year:

  • 84% said they share their personal passwords and PINs with their partners in 2018, up from 46% in 2017.
  • 75% indicated that they have had to compete for the attention of their date with their device, up from 57% in 2017.
  • 39% indicate that they have/would allow their significant other to use their work device (s), which is slightly higher than the 35% recorded last year.

On a positive note, 76% Indians are also taking the necessary steps to ensure their personal information is protected on their connected devices. That’s great to know and they should also be more vigilant about sharing too much. Though 89% of Indians think privacy is important in a relationship, there is a lot of sharing going on between partners and it’s not just love and sweet nothings. 84% share their passwords and PINs with their partners for:

  • Online shopping websites – 60%
  • Social media accounts – 45%
  • Streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) – 42%
  • Personal email accounts – 41%
  • Banking and financial services websites – 38%
  • Work specific devices/accounts – 38%

Tip: Proactively practice digital balance by keeping devices away or on silent mode when talking to family members or your partner. Give your 100% attention to them.

We want you to stay safe online as well as stay close to your loved ones! Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe while staying in love:

  • Protect your loved ones online… secure their devices. Take control of your privacy and security. Products like McAfee Total Protection helps secure all your devices and keep your personal data personal.
  • Keep control over emotions when it comes to passwords. Please tell me your password isn’t Love2018 or MyLoveXYZ?? Be as romantic as you want in real life but be very careful when choosing passwords, they are the keys to your accounts and shouldn’t be easy to hack. Use the TrueKey app to manage all your passwords. Also, enable Two-Factor-Authentication on all accounts for enhanced safety.
  • Love you…. but love my device more? No way! I know that feeling, of wanting to ‘just scroll through’ social media messages or checking the battery if there has been no ping for some time; but hey, relax and take a chill pill. Messages won’t disappear so, give priority to real connections over virtual ones.

A successful life and relationship is all about prioritizing and doing the right thing at the right time. This Valentine’s Day give priority to a device-free date and you will love the joy and positive vibes you feel around you.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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Safer Internet Day 2018: How To Develop Online Respect At Home

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Today is Safer Internet Day – an annual global event aimed at encouraging a better internet. And this year’s theme is a beauty: ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect. A Better Internet Starts With You.’

As a mum and technology educator, I believe respect is at the core of all positive and safe online (and offline) behaviours. Kids with a healthy amount of respect in their ‘tool box’ will almost always have more successful social interactions. But it’s important to look at respect in two ways: respect for others and, just as importantly, respect for ourselves.

Respecting Others Online
Respecting others online means you acknowledge them and are considerate of their opinions and privacy. Yet it does not mean that you have to agree with everything they say or do. To borrow the words of pop icon, Taylor Swift:

‘We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.’

In my view, a lack of respect for conflicting opinions online is where a lot of teens (and adults) come unstuck. Many interpret an opposing opinion as criticism and respond aggressively. This can quickly turn a civil exchange of opinions into an exchange of insults! In other words, a large part of showing respect online is being mindful of the way you communicate. And this means:

being aware of your tone;
not using bad language or insulting others; and
avoiding use of upper case as it is considered shouting and can rapidly escalate an argument.
So, whether your child is a Tay-Tay fan or not, her words of wisdom need to be shared.

Respecting Yourself Online
On the other hand, a healthy dose of respect for yourself can be very helpful when dealing with the negativity that can sometimes be experienced online. As American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said:

‘He that respects himself is safe from others. He wears a coat of mail that no one can pierce.’

If you respect yourself, you will know when you are being treated badly and will have the courage to stand up for yourself. Self-respect also means you will treat others well and know that, by doing so, others will treat you well in return.

As parents, it is essential that we teach our kids self-respect. Showing and telling them they are worthy, valuable and important is a very good place to start. Teaching them about appropriate boundaries around their physical and mental health is also essential. So is instilling in them that no one has the right to jeopardise their physical or emotional safety. Your kids need to know that if they are on the receiving end of behaviour that isn’t appropriate, they can come to you or other nominated trusted adults in their life.

Don’t Forget About Empathy!
In my opinion, empathy is the perfect partner to respect. This is the ability to identify with and feel for another person’s concerns, and is a key element of emotional intelligence (EQ). It is an essential foundation upon which positive interactions – both offline and online – are built.

According to US parenting expert Dr Michele Borba our generation of children are experiencing an ’empathy crisis’ which is contributing to bullying and poor academic performance. She believes empathy is such a powerful emotion it can halt violent and cruel behaviour and encourage us to treat others kindly. Which makes it an essential element of positive online interactions.

So, Where Do We Go From Here?
I strongly encourage you to take some time today to consider the theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day. Do you need to fine-tune your approach to respect and empathy at home? Is there a way of weaving some of these messages into your family dialogue? And most importantly: are you modelling respect and empathy for your kids to see and copy?

Till next time!

Stay Safe Online

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5 Digital Family Values to Embrace to Make the Internet a Better Place

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A better internet — one free of bullying, division, hate, and crime — isn’t just an aspiration, it’s truly possible. And, it starts with the individual digital user. It starts with you, with me, and the next generation of users we’re raising up. That’s the message of the annual worldwide Safer Internet Day, which is Tuesday, February 6.

The global movement has a message this year to “create, connect and share respect” online and challenges everyone from parents, to youth, to educators, to businesses to focus on how to use the internet’s power to bring people together.

We’ve put together a list of values to consider that might help your family respond to the challenge of Safer Internet Day. Can one family make the internet a safer, more positive place for us all? We think so. People affect change and influence millions of people every day online. Each one of us has the choice to lead or sit on the sidelines on this critical topic. Even the smallest act of kindness or respect online generates digital ripples. So, just begin. (You can also join in the worldwide social media push with a Thunderclap post supporting #SID2018 on the morning of Feb. 6 to kick start Safer Internet Day)!

5 Digital Family Values to Upload Every Day

  1. The value of the pause.

    The online culture gives our discernment a workout every second, doesn’t it? Teaching kids to become critical thinkers who are responsible for their online choices is a value that is reinforced in big and small ways every day. A few questions to challenge kids to ask before posting might be:

  • Is this a value I share or am I just echoing my friends?
  • Am I too emotional to be online right now?
  • Do I have all the facts before I respond?
  • What’s the flip side of this issue, the other opinions?
  • Is what I want to say online necessary, helpful, or kind?
  1. The value of empathy.

    Empathy is making a genuine attempt to understand another person’s struggle and it’s a powerful way to combat bullying, hate, and prejudice online. Digital communication can make it harder to feel empathy for other people. Hearts get lost in the clicking, liking, and sterile acronyms. Looking for ways to teach empathy means highlighting real-life situations and asking your kids to think deeper, put themselves in another person’s shoes, and genuinely reflect on the emotional fallout.

  2. The value of responsibility.

    Making the internet a safer place for all, requires parents and kids to embrace, repeat, and consider the basic safety principals that create our digital footprint. One way is to help kids understand their digital footprint and the responsibility that comes with owning a digital device of any kind. Pose these questions to your child:

  • Is this something you really want everyone to know that about you?
  • What do you think this photo communicates about you (use adjectives)?
  • How do you think that person would feel if he or she saw your post about them a few years from now?

One of the best ways to grow your child’s sense of digital responsibility is to role-play. Find teachable moments in which empathy or responsible online behavior has been ignored.

Ask your child questions that will challenge him or her to verbalize what another person might be feeling or thinking. Putting words to a cruel or unfair situation brings it to life and is an effective way to dismantle stereotypes, prejudices, and digital inequities.

4. The value of media literacy.

Media literacy is a skill that allows digital users to become critical thinkers and creators, effective communicators, and active digital citizens. This means we all play a role in making the Internet a safe place to exchange ideas and appropriate content. Cyberwise.org is an excellent media literacy equipping hub for families and educators.

5. The value of parental example.

If you’re serious about influencing your child’s behavior online, the most powerful teacher is you. Take inventory. Be the example of a balanced, responsible, empathy-driven internet user. Model balance. Limit your time on social networks when at home, unplug consistently, don’t let technology come before people. Model responsibility. Post and comment wisely, and always keep your emotions in check online. Model humility. Part of being the example includes being able to admit your digital mistakes. Kids need to know you aren’t perfect and learn from how you handled a digital situation such as cyberbullying, a political argument, or even a closeted tech addiction. Be open, honest, and candid in leading your kids in social appropriateness. Model empathy. Be sensitive to others online. Use your wisdom to mend a broken situation and do the harder thing in an emotion-charged circumstance. Your kids are watching you.

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McAfee Internet Security Takes Home Perfect AV-TEST Scores

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McAfee Internet Security offers comprehensive online security with accelerated performance, and helps keep you and your family safe from cyberthreats. With McAfee Internet Security, all the personal data held on your devices is safeguarded with an extra layer of defense.

In the cybersecurity space, personal devices– including mobile devices, computers, tablets – are also defined as endpoint devices. When they connect to a network, they create a potential entry point for security threats. McAfee Internet Security acts as a safeguard for these endpoint devices, as does McAfee Endpoint Security one of McAfee’s solutions for businesses. And now, we’re pleased to announce that both have been recognized for their advanced protection.

The AV-TEST Institute, a leading international and independent service provider in the fields of IT security and anti-virus research, has given McAfee  Internet Security perfect scores across the board for protection, performance, and usability, resulting in 18 out of 18. What’s more the AV-TEST Institute has given McAfee Endpoint Security a Top Product Award in their latest corporate windows7 test and scored the most recent version of the product a 17.5 out of 18.

These scores are not only exciting, but truly significant as both our corporate and consumer nodes work together to deliver one of the largest real-world sensor grids available, with over 350 million clients deployed globally. These awards also remind us that these offerings will continue to be crucial as we work to fuel company growth and strengthen our customers’ security in 2018 and beyond.

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