Category Archives: Internet safety

Tackling CSAM One Wi-Fi Hotspot at a Time

by Bharat Mistry

At Trend Micro our work to combat online threats and make the digital world a safer place stretches far beyond the obvious: malware and cyber-attacks on customers. In fact, since 2008 our Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF) programme has been a leading light in the industry, spearheading Trend Micro’s efforts to be a more responsible corporate citizen. One of its core goals is to help combat the spread of child sex abuse material (CSAM) online.

We’re delighted to be driving these ambitious aims forward, most recently with newly minted recognition as a “Friendly WiFi Approved Provider” in the UK.

Family friendly Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is rightly regarded with some suspicion by cybersecurity experts, who point out that it could enable attackers to eavesdrop on private conversations and even steal important log-ins. However, there’s another risk: that the internet service behind it could allow individuals, especially young people, to view inappropriate and even CSAM material.

First trailed by the Prime Minister in 2013 and launched the following year, the Friendly WiFi scheme is industry’s response. By applying to be certified under the scheme, public and guest Wi-Fi providers can show they’re putting their customers first. How? By offering global public assurance that the wireless networks consumers use when out and about is independently certified as filtered from pornography and CSAM.

Although Trend Micro doesn’t run its own public/guest Wi-Fi networks across the UK, we wanted to get involved and show our support for the initiative and the wider aims of online safety that ISKF has been driving for over a decade. That’s why we’re delighted to now be certified as an Approved Provider.

ISKF and the next decade

This latest recognition can be seen as part of our three-pronged approach to tackling CSAM. This is built around the following tenets:

Educate: raising awareness among young people about the risks involved in sharing images or trusting people online.

Integrate into products/services: blocking known CSAM using watchlists such as those run by the UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and building it into our products, ie via web reputation. We’ll also alert industry hotlines if our products and services come across such content.

Collaborate: We’re already serving on the advisory board of the INHOPE Foundation, a global association of internet hotlines.And we’re always on the lookout for new ways to team up with like-minded organisations across the world.

Friendly WiFi is just the latest in a long line of initiatives by ISKF to extend our goal of creating a world safe for the exchange of digital information to the world’s youngest citizens. We educate, we collaborate, we innovate and we practice what we preach all around the world in order to help realise this vision.

Trend Micro’s bottom-line message to kids and families is that, if you’re online: be safe, be savvy and be kind. It might not always be easy, but there’s plenty of support and advice on our website to help those who need it.

Safer Internet Day: working together for a better internet

by Ian Heritage

Last week Facebook and Google hit the headlines yet again for the wrong reasons after they were found to have bypassed Apple’s strict approvals process to distribute data harvesting apps to users. In Facebook’s case, the firm paid users as young as 13 in return for downloading the market research app. Critics claim it was less than open about the privacy-invading purposes of the app, and that its parental consent ‘checks’ could be easily faked.

It has all served as a timely reminder of the privacy and security risks families are exposed to on a regular basis today, as we celebrate Safer Internet Day (SID) around the world tomorrow, on the 5th February. Continue reading

Extending Internet Security Awareness to Employees’ Families

by Mark Conway

Today’s businesses face an unprecedented cybersecurity challenge. They must keep their networks free from threat but do so without impacting the user experience. To add to this, the benefits they see through adopting a more flexible, mobile workforce actually go hand in hand with the need to mitigate auxiliary risk. Despite the mounting hurdles, however, some of the most responsible corporate citizens refuse to be stopped in their tracks. They recognise the gains afforded through corporate cyber awareness and chose to support their employees away from work and into the home.

It’s in this regard that Trend Micro was invited to the headquarter’s of National Lottery operator Camelot Group. Our brief was simple. Discuss security practices outside of the office and provide guidance on achieving a healthier cyber environment for themselves, their children and their families. Continue reading

Trend Micro @ MWC: Securing Our Mobile, Connected World

by Bharat Mistry

Time flies fast in tech. When Trend Micro was founded nearly 30 years ago, mobile phones were pretty clunky, prohibitively expensive and not in the least bit “smart”. Fast forward to today and the device in your pocket has more compute power than the NASA machines that put man on the moon. Over the years, the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) show in Barcelona has offered us a fascinating glimpse into the remarkable growth of this industry.

Mobile is now at the very heart of our digital world. It means much more today than smartphones — extending out into the Internet of Things (IoT) to permeate virtually every aspect of our lives. But with this newly connected, digital world come new risks. That’s why Trend Micro CEO Eva Chen was on hand at MWC this year, to explain to the press how her vision for connected intelligence can help build a safer connected world. Continue reading