WAKE FOREST, N.C. – CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) is helping customers stay safe online by offering tips to avoid the Internet’s potential dangers. Customers in North Carolina can take advantage of CenturyLink’s free Online Security suite to keep their personal computers safe from viruses, but the company is also providing tips to all Internet users to help them protect their privacy and avoid common Internet pitfalls.
“As one of the nation’s largest broadband providers, we are pleased to give our customers the information they need to stay safe online,” said Kevin McCarter, CenturyLink’s vice president and general manager for central & eastern North Carolina. “We believe that although the Internet is a powerful tool that has revolutionized our lives in many positive ways, it can still be dangerous for users who aren’t armed with the right information.”
Because children and teenagers can be especially vulnerable online, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has established NetSmartz 411, an online resource for parents to find answers to common questions about Internet safety. Parents or guardians can use the site to find information about protecting children from cyberbullying, protecting children’s privacy and avoiding potentially unsafe online behavior. Some tips include:
· File “CyberTipline” report through the NCMEC if children are targeted for exploitation
· Use privacy settings on children’s social networks to keep profiles secure
· Block or ban users who harass or bully children online
· Keep computers or gaming consoles in a common area to make supervision easier
· Use common sense when uploading photos and make sure that content is appropriate
Some other practical tips to help keep users safe online can be found on CenturyLink’s “Digital Safety and Security” website which provides useful articles and tips on:
· Avoiding “phishing” scams and identity theft by recognizing suspicious signs
· Being a safer online shopper by confirming the online seller is legitimate
· Keeping confidential information safe by securing wireless networks
· Avoiding spam by setting up control mechanisms and using common sense about online offers
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides broadband, voice, wireless and managed services to consumers and businesses across the country. It also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLinkTM PrismTM TV and DIRECTV brands. In addition, the company provides data, voice and managed services to enterprise, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers. CenturyLink is recognized as a leader in the network services market by key technology industry analyst firms, and is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises through Savvis, a CenturyLink company. CenturyLink’s customers range from Fortune 500 companies in some of the country’s largest cities to families living in rural America. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.