McGruff the Crime Dog Calls for Mass Immunization of America's Computers to Combat Cyber Crime

Broad-based Industry Coalition Backs Up McGruff with Web Site, Tips, Tools and Techniques Designed to Protect Kids and Families from Cyber Crooks, Predators and Other Online Threats and

NEW YORK (October 11, 2006) – Everyone’s favorite tough-talking crime fighter, McGruff the Crime Dog, is challenging Americans to protect their digital assets and real-world identities by getting educated about the ever-evolving dangers that lurk in cyberspace.

“Here’s my challenge to each and every computer user,” says McGruff. “Immunize the computers you use. Go to and get the tools and information necessary to protect yourself. Download the Mind What You Do Online booklet. Learn about threats, follow the checklists to make sure you know how to use the Internet safely and put the right protective solutions in place.”

McGruff is calling on his friends in the media to help him get the word out as he takes to the streets of New York City. Today he will ring the closing bell at The NASDAQ Stock Market, the largest U.S. electronic stock market, which posts an average daily volume of $46.5 billion and over 5 million executions a day. Given the amount of volume that NASDAQ averages, it is imperative for broker/dealers to maintain high security standards.

In an environment where 77 percent of young people are contacted by online predators by age 14 (Crimes Against Children Research Center), approximately seven million consumers per year are victims of identity theft (Identity Theft Resource Center), and more than one-third of the U.S. population has been affected by data compromises over the last 18 months (National Crime Prevention Council), those in the “digital know” are glad to see McGruff taking on this new challenge.

“Take A Bite Out Of Cyber Crime” is a joint initiative of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), a leader in crime prevention since 1982; the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, a global organization of 2,500 senior marketers at leading corporations; and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME), a group of mobile technology and service providers. The program is being underwritten by leading technology and media companies including Comcast,, Intel, McAfee, VeriSign and Gannett’s USA TODAY. Also lending their support to the program are the Girl Scouts of the USA, the U.S. Internet Industry Association, TRUSTe, Internet Content Rating Association, CTIA and Wireless Foundation. Companies interested in contributing are encouraged to join the campaign, which will reach millions of computer users in homes, schools, businesses and remote Internet access locations nationwide.

Phase One of the “Take A Bite Out Of Cyber Crime” campaign includes:

  • A Security Center at which provides detailed information about how individuals and small businesses can protect themselves from online threats.

  • A downloadable booklet, Mind What You Do Online, to educate adults and kids about how to stay safe when using the Internet at home, at work, in remote locations and on the road. Readers will find smart lists detailing what they need to know, safety checklists to make sure they’re fully protected and more. The campaign will provide hundreds of thousands of booklets to the public via multiple online and physical distribution channels.

  • A major public service advertising campaign around the issue of security awareness, featuring

  • Print and online advertising courtesy of USA TODAY (5.2 million daily readers and 7.6 million unique monthly Internet visitors),

  • Public Service Announcements broadcast via Comcast (23.3 million cable subscribers and 10 million broadband Internet users),
    Expert guidance from prominent subject matter experts and computer safety expertise from McAfee

  • Expert editorial content and tips from


  • Free downloads of McAfee SiteAdvisor, which clearly identifies potentially dangerous Websites using intuitive red, yellow and green icons that empower online users to decide what to browse and what to avoid.

  • Discounts on McAfee’s powerful Internet Security Suite, which guards against viruses, spyware, hackers, spam, scams and unsavory online content, providing Internet users all the protection they need in a single suite.

  • A 15-day free trial of a VeriSign SSL Certificate, the industry standard for establishing an encrypted communications channel and a critical component in preventing the interception of confidential information.

  • In-person McGruff visits in communities around the country, during fairs, festivals, school events, sports games and more.

“The time is now for American families and businesses to take control of their digital safety and empower themselves to take a stand against cyber crime,” says NCPC President and CEO Alfonso E. Lenhardt. “Our educational and computer security tools give people the resources and information they need to combat cyber criminals.”

McGruff, a figure that 75 percent of adults and 90 percent of children recognize, will keep a high profile at the four-day Digital Life event, which takes place at the Javits Center in New York City from October 12 th to 15 th. The show is “dedicated to educating consumers on what the digital lifestyle means in every aspect of life.” Intel, a sponsor of the “Take A Bite Out Of Cyber Crime” campaign, will host McGruff at its booth for much of the day, where he will hand out materials and pose for pictures with guests. McGruff will also be making other surprise appearances in the city of New York and soon embark on personal visits to communities throughout the country.

“Because so many people know and like McGruff, his involvement in the fight against cyber crime will motivate consumers to actually take the steps they need to protect themselves online,” says Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. “The new site,, is a unique resource that’s not only easy to use but also contains a rich range of content, resources and links for visitors to get better at securing their digital life.”

Some additional facts and trends related to cyber safety:

  • 81 percent of home computers lack core protection (National Cyber Security Alliance)

  • Computer crime is estimated to cost $67 billion a year (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

  • While 96 percent of consumers have heard of spyware, only 28 percent are aware of what it does (National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSA)

  • About 68 percent of consumers keep sensitive information such as personal correspondence, professional records, health, and/or financial information on personal computers and 74 percent use the Internet at home for “sensitive” transactions such as banking, stock trading or reviewing personal medical information (NCSA)

  • 23 million US homes have wireless home networks (Jupiter Research), but 47 percent of those homes do not have security encryption (NCSA)

About the National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to be the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families and their communities safe from crime. NCPC manages public service advertising under the National Citizens’ Crime Prevention Campaign—symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®” slogan—and acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 360 national, federal, state, and local organizations representing thousands of constituents who are committed to preventing crime. For more information on crime prevention issues, visit

About the CMO Council
The CMO Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. More than 2,500 top marketing executives are represented on the CMO Council worldwide, accounting for well over $70 billion in aggregated annual marketing spend. Visit the CMO Council website to find out about the initiatives geared to address corporate marketing challenges at