McAfee Launches Cybercrime Self-help Site

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Antivirus software maker McAfee today launched a new Web site intended to provide advice and services to those who suspect they may be victims of cybercrime.

The Cybercrime Response Unit site starts out with a risk assessment questionnaire, with questions such as ""There are unexplained charges or suspicious activity on one or more of my financial accounts," "I opened an attachment to an email and am now concerned that it might have been malicious," and "I am worried that my child or I have encountered an Internet predator."

Ticking checkboxes next to various questions will take you to pages that provide advice and links for dealing with ID Theft, which includes fraud reporting phone numbers for major banks. The help page for malware infections includes a link to a free "Cybercrime scanner" that will scan your PC for malware, unauthorized network connections and other risks (using Internet Explorer), and there's also a short page on dealing with cyber-bullies or online predators.

You'll find the expected occasional plug for a McAfee service or software, along with pages of decent, basic advice such as "Do not open messages or click on links from unknown users in your instant messaging program." There are a good number links to external sites and services, particularly for dealing with ID theft, but some surprising lacks. I didn't see any links to under recommendations to check your credit reports regularly, for instance.

Speaking of plugs, if you're interested in some tips on free security tools and services, here's my own list of best practices for protecting yourself against online threats.

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