McAfee launches ‘online 911’ for cybercrime victims

McAfee has launched a new Web site designed to help cybercrime victims recover from hacker attacks.

The company bills its Cybercrime Response Unit as a kind of “online 911” where consumers and small-business owners can figure out whether they’ve been hacked, and to take the first steps to connect with law enforcement once they know a crime has been committed.

The site helps victims triage any common computer problems. For example, it can tell them what to do if they’ve opened an attachment that they now think may have been malicious, or if they’re worried that their child may be talking to a predator online.

Complaints about Internet-related crime spiked 33 percent last year, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Internet Crime Complaint Center.

In the U.S., online crimes can be prosecuted by state, local and federal authorities, including the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service, and victims are often unsure what to do after they’ve been victimized.

In fact, people who have been hacked often don’t even know it, said Pamela Warren, a cybercrime strategist with McAfee.

To help with that problem, a visitor can try out an online scanning program that will check their computer for any signs that it has been misused by criminals. (It is available only for Internet Explorer on Windows.)

“If you’re a victim and you just don’t know where to go, this is really meant to consolidate [that information],” Warren said.The site includes resources for victims of cyber bullying, identity theft and online scams, she said. “Regardless of what the cybercrime is, you can come here and get help.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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