McAfee.com Launches Initiative to Protect Children on the Internet; Unveils ‘McAfee.com Kids’ Web Site to Teach Internet Safety
SUNNYVALE, Calif. March 27, 2001 — McAfee.com (Nasdaq: MCAF), a leading security Application Service Provider (ASP) today began an extensive program aimed at educating Internet users about the dangers that children face while online. Earlier today, the McAfee.com Kids Web site launched in collaboration with Dr. Lawrence Kutner, PhD., Colin Hatcher, President and CEO of SafetyEd.org, RippleEffects.com and the San Jose Sharks, to focus on the protection of children through safe practices, parent/teacher involvement and technology. The site, which the company intends to grow into a substantial resource for information regarding Internet safety, includes classroom lesson plans that will be distributed to thousands of middle schools around the country. McAfee.com hopes to raise public awareness around Internet dangers that have increased dramatically over the past several years.
McAfee.com Kids Web Site
The McAfee.com Kids Web site, located at http://kids.mcafee.com, contains Internet safety and privacy materials for parents, teachers and students, including original information prepared by well-known child safety advocate Colin Hatcher, CEO of SafetyEd.org. Provided on the site are guidelines for safe chatting, advice and lesson plans for teachers, information about cyber-stalking and child exploitation, and an extensive summary on child protection laws.
The vast majority of safety related problems encountered by children online are caused by errors in understanding on the part of the child and can be avoided, said Hatcher. If we ensure, through proactive education, that children clearly understand the issues of safety, privacy and trust when using the Internet, we will empower them to take good care of themselves while online. Sooner or later, our kids will be unsupervised in cyberspace, and thats when we need them to make wise choices.
For students, the site offers some important Dos & Donts of Internet safety and privacy, tips for making friends online, tips for chatting, Q & A for kids and teens and a graphically rich, interactive learning software demo that helps young people build skills, strengthen connections to others and reduce involvement in violence and risky behavior. Teachers and students will also be able to download a Dos and Donts poster featuring popular San Jose Sharks defenseman Bryan Marchment.
Guard Your Net!
As a further method of educating children, parents and teachers about the dangers of the Internet and what children can do to surf more safely, McAfee.com has collaborated with noted Harvard University child psychologist Dr. Lawrence Kutner, to create the McAfee.com Kids Guard Your Net! Internet Safety & Privacy program. The program consists of teaching materials, a classroom poster and a student guide with a Web searching exercise and crossword puzzle. The program will be distributed to middle schools around the country and also posted to the McAfee.com Web site at http://kids.mcafee.com.
As the father of an 11-year old son, I feel its critical that we find ways to defend our children against inappropriate or dangerous influences on the Internet, says McAfee.com CEO Srivats Sampath. I hope that parents and teachers utilize this material and that it helps to protect the safety of our children. This is the first step in our support for this cause and we will continue to enrich the site with additional information and resources while also building upon and improving our software services that assist parents and teachers in this effort.
Internet Privacy Service
Last fall, McAfee.com launched its Internet Privacy Service, which grants users the power to easily and selectively filter Internet content they want individual members of their families to view, send and receive. This technology is especially useful for parents who want a powerful tool to protect their children from objectionable or offensive content as they explore and interact on the Internet. McAfee.com will offer special pricing for its Internet Privacy Service to visitors to the McAfee.com Kids Web site during the next 90 days. Site visitors can sign up for the service for a 30% discounted annual subscription rate of $19.95.
Results from a recently completed survey sponsored by McAfee.com, point to concerns teachers have over the many dangers facing middle school students using the Internet, from inappropriate Web site content to predators setting up in-person meetings with students. Compounding these concerns is the fact that middle school educators report that they feel conflicted, often encouraging students to take advantage of all the positives the Internet has to offer but worrying that online predators may take advantage of them.
Middle school students are naive for the most part to the possibility of potential dangers of exposing themselves and personal information about themselves to someone on the Internet, said one teacher surveyed. They don’t fully understand the possible consequences of their actions. Yet many are left unsupervised to surf the Internet at their leisure without any parental or adult control and this disturbs me.
One important issue mentioned in comments by educators taking the survey has to do with the gullibility of middle schoolers: if its in print or on a computer screen, they believe it, said Dr. Kutner. This is a matter of normal child development, but it also puts children this age at greater risk, since theyre old enough to access the Internet but are not yet thinking in a sophisticated manner.
In response to the survey results and recent reports of cyber crimes targeting children, McAfee.com created the McAfee.com Kids Guard Your Net! program and distributed Internet safety and privacy classroom materials to more than 3,000 Middle Schools nationwide. For more information about the survey, or to view the survey findings, please visit: http://kids.mcafee.com/internetsurvey.asp
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, McAfee.com Corporation, a majority-owned subsidiary of Network Associates (Nasdaq: NETA), is a leading consumer security Application Service Provider (ASP), redefining how software is developed, delivered and experienced by PC users at home and at work. The company delivers software benefits through an Internet browser, virtually eliminating the need to install, configure and manage the technology on a local PC or network. McAfee.com hosts software application services on its vast technology infrastructure and provides these services to users online through its Web site www.mcafee.com. McAfee.com has signed up more than 520,000 paid subscribers and regularly has more than 350,000 visitors each day. The company estimates that 30% of its subscriber base is international. For more information, contact McAfee.com at 408.992.8100 or visit http://www.mcafee.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934, as amended. These statements are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. McAfee.com’s actual results for future periods could differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements. We refer you to the risk factors described in McAfee.com’s IPO Prospectus, annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a detailed description of risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from our forward looking statements.