McAfee launched Personal Data Cleanup in the U.S., the newest privacy feature addition to the company’s flagship product McAfee Total Protection.
Personal Data Cleanup gives consumers visibility, removal guidance, and continuous monitoring to remove their personal data from some of the riskiest data broker sites on the web to protect themselves from identity thieves, hackers, and spammers.
In what’s increasingly becoming a more and more virtual world, research shows 59% of consumers have become more protective of their personal data. To aid in meeting this increased concern, McAfee’s Personal Data Cleanup regularly scans data broker sites for information such as a home address, date of birth, and specified names of loved ones. McAfee will notify users of which of these sites are selling user data and recommend action for removal so consumers can feel more confident that their privacy is protected.
“Everyone should feel comfortable to live their lives confidently online as they bank, shop, communicate, game, work, and more,” said Gagan Singh, Executive Vice President, Chief Product & Revenue Officer, McAfee. “Data brokers are largely unregulated companies, and in the absence of U.S. laws to fully protect consumers, they are often left to fend for themselves. Personal Data Cleanup allows users another tool to take back some control of their personal information—where it lives online, who has access to it, and who can sell it—so they can feel more secure as they move forward in their digital lives.”
Data brokers acquire and sell a vast array of detailed and at times sensitive information about consumers. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is collected from credit card providers, retailers, and publicly available sources like court records, census data, marriage licenses, voter registrations, and more. Brokers might then analyze it to make assumptions about consumers and share them with advertisers, ad agencies, or others. This activity takes place behind the scenes and often without consumers’ knowledge and is, unfortunately, often completely legal.
The new feature gives McAfee users the visibility and guidance they need to remove their personal data from more than 40 data broker and people search sites. Removing users’ information from data broker sites helps protect the information that is personal to them and their family from being collected, sold, and used to:
- Advertise products
- Fill email inboxes with spam
- Give criminals information needed to steal a user’s identity
How Personal Data Cleanup works:
1. Scan: McAfee scans more than 40 of the riskiest data broker sites for customer personal data.
2. Awareness: McAfee shows customers which of these sites hold their personal data.
3. Cleanup: McAfee guides customers to remove personal data and help them stay private.
4. Confidence: McAfee will continue to scan for customer data regularly for ongoing protection.
Users input their name, date of birth, and home address for McAfee to scan against 40 of the riskiest data broker sites. McAfee selected these sites by identifying the data broker sites that pose the most privacy threats and those that contain the most personal information in their databases. These sites are scanned for both the personal data, and the personal data of associated names, including loved ones.
Personal Data Cleanup details which websites and the specific personally identifiable information (PII) that were found to be contained online for users and family members.
McAfee gives users the visibility and guidance needed to remove their personal data from data broker and people search sites. Personal Data Cleanup guides users through the removal process for each website, to erase that PII and keep users’ identities more secure online.
Personal data can reappear as data brokers continually collect it. McAfee Personal Data Cleanup continues to scan for users’ data regularly for ongoing protection.
“Keeping yourself and your family safe online is critically important, but it can also be confusing and challenging,” said Cagla Ruacan, Head of Product Strategy, Product Marketing and Insights, McAfee. “However, McAfee works tirelessly to remove these barriers by arming consumers with the information and tools they need to protect their privacy and identity. Personal Data Cleanup empowers customers to keep their personal information more secure and out of the wrong hands, ultimately helping make life online easier and less stressful.”
Those in the U.S. interested in protecting themselves and their families online can download a free trial of McAfee Total Protection that includes Personal Data Cleanup, award-winning antivirus technology, identity monitoring, a secure VPN, and safe browsing for all-in-one protection