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McAfee embraces millions of Internet users

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McAfee is making the Internet safer for all users by completing the acquisition of privately-held ScanAlert, creator of the Hacker Safe web site security certification service which protects over 50 million e-commerce transactions per month and proactively advises consumers about which sites are safe for shopping.

The ScanAlert technology will be integrated into McAfee’s award-winning safe search and surf technology, SiteAdvisor, which just reached a significant milestone of its own: it has been downloaded more than 100-million times by consumers who request SiteAdvisor’s Web site ratings more than 1-billion times each day.
This robust Web security platform perfectly complements McAfee’s secure PC platform, collectively making the Internet safer for millions of consumers worldwide.
“With threats exploding on the Internet, consumers increasingly understand that clicking on an untested or uncertified Web site is a game of chance,” says Dave DeWalt, CEO and president of McAfee.
“By leading the industry with an integrated Web and PC platform, McAfee is delivering what consumers need most: An intuitive, easy-to-use service that proactively helps users avoid unknown and risky sites while stopping threats that attempt to infect their PCs through email, instant messaging, and spyware. McAfee makes the Internet safe by regularly testing Web businesses, and by driving millions of consumers to those sites that have been certified.”
UK-based NGS (Next Generation Security) Software Ltd. recently reported that thousands of database servers accessible on the Internet lack critical updates and are vulnerable to attack.
In addition, Internet threats have been increasing, and now target Web 2.0 sites and social networking sites, where attackers cull tidbits of personal information to make threats feel more authentic.
In particular, the clear overlap of common online habits – surfing unknown sites, clicking on emails from unknown senders, swapping photos and music files – provides a perfect storm of opportunity for professional hackers.
For the record, consumers have taken note: A 2006 study by TNS, a global market insight and information group,  revealed that 70% of consumers polled terminated online orders due to a lack of transaction trust.
At the same time, market forces are actually helping the cyber-criminals. For example, the cost of renting a platform for spamming has dropped, and criminals can now buy custom-written Trojans built to steal credit card data. Meanwhile, the crooks are increasingly aiming phishing scams at smaller e-commerce sites that have been slower to implement comprehensive security measures. Since most consumers reuse their usernames and passwords, the potential problems are just as serious.
Extending its comprehensive layers of protection to the world of online business, McAfee certifies e-commerce sites only after they have undergone a comprehensive security audit, which includes scanning each site for vulnerabilities, identifying security fixes for those problems, and ensuring that they have been fixed. After each site has been certified as Hacker Safe, it maintains that certification only by passing daily scans.
By boosting consumer confidence through these rigorous and ongoing security audits, ScanAlert clients enjoy, on average, improved sales conversion rates of 14%.
“The Hacker Safe logo is one of the world’s most viewed safe shopping trustmarks,” says Tim Dowling, vice-president of McAfee. “In an environment where consumers are concerned about the legitimacy of e-commerce sites, companies that do business online increasingly depend on building and maintaining consumer confidence.
"The combination of Hacker Safe, which provides the reassurance needed to drive sales, and SiteAdvisor, which drives consumer traffic to safe sites, together have the potential to significantly enhance e-commerce.”
ScanAlert currently audits and certifies the security of more than 100 000 Web sites, and the Hacker Safe security trust mark is displayed on over 60% of companies featured in the Internet Retailer Top 500 list.
Complementing the Hacker Safe certification service is McAfee SiteAdvisor, which has been downloaded more than 100-million times in just two years after its beta-stage launch. McAfee SiteAdvisor has tested 95% of the trafficked Web, and displays easy-to-understand green, yellow and red safety ratings to guide consumers to safe sites and away from risky sites, which deliver malware, contain browser exploits, display aggressive pop-up ads, try to scam a user or send multiple spammy emails.  
The SiteAdvisor safe search technology also includes browser-based anti-phishing protection to shield consumers from sites designed to steal personal information. Tested Web sites that are found to be risky can address the issues McAfee found, earning a new “green” rating, and therefore benefit from increased traffic by consumers who only visit SiteAdvisor rated safe sites.
McAfee SiteAdvisor is integrated into all of McAfee’s security suites: McAfee Total Protection, McAfee Internet Security Suite, and McAfee VirusScan Plus.