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McGruff To Spread Cyber Crime Awareness

The 'CMO Council' and the 'National Crime Prevention Council' have jointly launched the "Take a Bit Out of Cyber Crime" Campaign to raise awareness against cyber crime. The campaign has NCPC's cartoon character, McGruff featuring as the "Crime Dog". McGruff originally a protector against criminals and tormentors is now on the road to create awareness among consumers about online predators and miscreants, namely spyware, spam, viruses, phishing and identity theft.

McGruff will play tall both online and off it, to spread awareness of Internet dangers. According to Don Scott, COO of the CMO Council and one of the organizers in the campaign, the easily recognizable character is appropriate to shoulder the task. About 70 percent of the adults and 90 percent of the children are able to identify the character, which makes the objective more achievable.

NCPC notes that although Internet malware like viruses, worms, spam, phishing, identity theft, spyware and adware imply real threats to PCs of both homes and businesses, only 20% of all computers have intensive protection. Don Scott views that there is an absence of general awareness of the wide range of threats hovering on the Net, which have a direct impact on digital security. There is also a lack of understanding of what users can specifically do to keep their computers safe.

Apart from educating people on the different aspects of cyber crime, the McGruff campaign also assists in implementing security measures on the systems.

One of the features of the campaign is "Mass Immunization of America's Home Computers", which can be downloaded from www.bytecrime.org. Others include online and printed educational material ready for distribution; various profiles of McGruff; and provision of training to 20,000 students as "Junior Cyber Guards".

The campaign's website, bytecrime.org will have educational content informing readers about cyber threats; a free version of SiteAdvisor that will give a list of unsafe sites; and the discounted version of a virus protection software available for download.

While implementing security products on PC is essential, it is imperative to fully understand the potential of online threats so that users can guard their systems at a higher level.

Related article: McGruff, The Crime Dog Will Challenge Cyber Crime

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