McAfee announced that it has completed an internal beta test for a new product that will help families oversee their kids’ and teens’ online interests, while keeping them safe to explore the Internet.
The ‘McAfee Family Protection’ software, which will be available for sale later this quarter, allows parents to set up individual accounts for each of their children. Some features include the ability to approve a list of e-mail contacts, filter both categories of content as well as specific keywords, set up time limits and monitor personal information that users post on social networking sites.
An increasing number of kids and teens now have their own PCs and use them for schoolwork, entertainment and to communicate with peers. As a result parents have become more concerned with online safety issues. In particular, kids and teens often confirm their parents’ worries by communicating with strangers and hiding online activities.
Research shows that:
• 52% of teens admitted having given out personal information to someone online whom they didn’t know personally;
• 16% of kids and teens admit they have private e-mail addresses or social networking profiles to hide what they do online from their parents;
• 43% of parents do not know what personal information their children have posted on the Internet;
• 63% of parents are concerned with their children’s security online; and
• 52%are concerned about inappropriate content on web sites.
*Sources: 2008 Forrester Consumer Technographics survey; Virtual Parenting Report, March 2009; McAfee/Harris Interactive Moms and Teens Survey, 2009.
To address these concerns as well as the educational needs of families, McAfee appointed Internet safety expert Parry Aftab last year as its Family Internet Safety Advisor. Aftab is helping to develop McAfee’s online family safety programs by capitalising on her extensive expertise and a network of thought leaders and experts.
McAfee has also appointed the industry’s first Chief Cyber Security Mom, Tracy Mooney, a mother of three. Both Parry Aftab and Tracy Mooney provide counsel to families via the McAfee Security Advice Center (www.mcafee.com/advice) where consumers can find links to their blogs and educational videos.
“The McAfee Family Protection product will advance the company’s family safety strategy by providing families with software that is easy to use, and also comprehensive enough that parents can dial it up or down to match the needs of their youngest kids and their mature teens,” says Jayson O’Reilly, regional manager for Africa, McAfee.
“It will let moms and dads empower their kids and teens to enjoy the Internet, while providing the oversight they have been asking for.”
McAfee Family Protection will be available as a standalone package that can work with McAfee’s consumer security suites – VirusScan Plus, Internet Security and McAfee Total Protection – as well as security products from other vendors.