New Family Protection Software From McAfee

Anti-virus software developer, McAfee, brings out family protection software

Software developers are always trying to beat the opposition to the punch, and in this case it looks like Symantec gets the gold medal for finishing first, Software developer, McAfee, has released its Family Protection software a full month after Symantec released its OnlineFamily.Norton package.

So what does McAfee offer? Well, it says its program can prevent a child from viewing inappropriate content, participating in cyberbullying and engaging in risky interactions on social networking sites. McAfee Family Protection software gives parents the ability to monitor and track online activities, and then use the data to teach their kids responsible and safe Internet habits.

Recent statistics show:

  • 62% of parents worry just as much or more about their teens’ online safety as they do about drinking and driving (McAfee and Harris Interactive, October, 2008)
  • 52% of teens have given out personal information online to someone they didn’t know (McAfee and Harris Interactive, October, 2008)
  • One out of 17 kids have been harassed, threatened or bullied online (netlingo.com, March, 2007)

McAfee Family Protection software includes a variety of features appropriate for each age group to help parents keep their kids safe online. Parents can receive e-mail alerts when a child has tried to access banned websites; they can filter inappropriate YouTube videos; and they can block programs, such as IM, peer-to-peer or e-mail, in addition to websites with similar functionality. Unlike other products, it does not expose families to unwanted advertising within the product.

Parents who work or travel and do not have physical access to the family PC can still adjust program settings remotely by simply logging onto www.mcafeefamilyprotection.com and accessing their personal account.

McAfee Family Protection software includes the following features:

  • Web Blocking lets parents block up to 35 categories of inappropriate content including such categories as pornography, hate sites and school cheating.
  • Program Blocking helps parents steer kids and teens away from such programs as peer-to-peer file sharing programs that may compromise family PCs or games that may only be appropriate for certain age groups
  • Time Limits enable families to select the amount of time children and teens can use the Internet.
  • E-mail Content Management allows parents to both pre-approve e-mail addresses of kids’ friends and block unknown e-mail addresses via such programs as Microsoft Outlook. It can also completely block Web-based email programs (such as Gmail or Hotmail) so children or teens are not communicating with strangers.
  • The Social Networking feature records and alerts parents when inappropriate or personal information is posted to popular social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
  • Instant Messaging lets parents monitor and record IM chats as needed to understand if kids are being communicated to by cyber bullies or strangers. IM clients include AOL, ICQ, MSN and Yahoo!, and parents can also block IM programs that are installed on the PC by using the Program Blocking feature.

  • Reports provide parents with a complete view of sites visited, including banned sites, as well as recorded IM activity.

  • Instant Alerts by e-mail give parents a heads up when access to objectionable material is attempted and when confidential information is posted on social networking sites.

McAfee Family Protection software works with McAfee’s consumer security suites including McAfee VirusScan Plus, McAfee Internet Security and McAfee Total Protection as well as security products from other vendors. McAfee Family Protection software is available for purchase at www.mcafee.com. McAfee also expects to offer support for Apple, Inc.’s iPhone platform in the second half of the year.

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