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Consumers Encouraged to Protect Their Privacy Online

AT&T and iKeepSafe Recognize National Data Privacy Day by Providing Consumer Tips on How to Protect Your Privacy Online

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Internet offers an exciting world of information and entertainment at the click of a mouse. Consumers are spending hours surfing, shopping, playing games and communicating online, but as with any activity, it is important to put security, privacy and safety first. As U.S. businesses and consumers mark tomorrow, January 28, 2010 as National Data Privacy Day, consumers are encouraged to examine how they currently protect themselves online, and what steps they can take to ensure their privacy is secure when connecting through a mobile device, home broadband or any other Internet connection.

"We commend the work of iKeepSafe and others in the community who work every day to help keep consumers safe online," said Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California. "At AT&T, we are dedicated to promoting online safety awareness and education and providing our customers with the necessary tools to be safe and responsible digital citizens."

AT&T and iKeepSafe offer the following important tips for consumers to use to determine how best to protect their privacy online:

      What happens online stays online...forever. The Internet helps us
       enhance our social and civic lives. As you post the picture from
       spring break, or share your most intimate details or views,
       remember many Websites and social networks are public, and
       information posted online is often permanent and searchable.

      Know with whom you are sharing information online. Social media
       sites, chat rooms and other online forums can be anonymous, and
       some people may be pretending to be someone they are not. Be as
       suspicious of a stranger online as you are of strangers in public

      Review privacy policies, privacy settings and profile preferences.
       Be cautious of giving out personal information, particularly your
       Social Security number and names of family members, unless you are
       familiar with the company and its Web site privacy policy.  Many
       companies, like AT&T, have made it easier to understand their

      Keep virus and spyware protection up to date and in place. Computer
       viruses often look like something they are not - such as a picture,
       screen saver or even a Web link. Some spyware programs can track
       everything you do online and send this information to an
       unauthorized user, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft.
       Antivirus and spyware protection programs scan and monitor your
       computer for viruses and spyware and then alert you before damage
       occurs. AT&T offers its broadband customers the award-winning AT&T
       Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee(R), which offers protection
       on up to 10 PCs and is included with qualifying plans.

      Avoid sending sensitive personal data over public connections. Be
       aware that many public computers, such as those at the library, and
       unsecured Wi-Fi connections can enable other users nearby to
       capture the information you are sending or receiving. If you have
       to use an unsecured or public connection, make sure the site is
       secure.  The AT&T Wi-Fi network supports secure Virtual Private
       Network (VPN) access. If you have VPN, AT&T recommends that you
       connect through it for optimum security.

      Never respond to emails or pop-ups asking for personal data or
       passwords. Use filtering software to help block unwanted e-mail
       and to reduce the likelihood of receiving viruses and spyware from
       unknown senders. Also use pop-up and ad-blocking features that
       let you control the quantity and type of pop-ups you receive or to
       block them completely.

      Use a strong password for all devices and accounts. Use combinations
       of letters, numbers, upper and lower case characters, and symbols
       in your passwords, and change your passwords frequently.

      Find websites on your own; don't use links in emails or on other
       sites. "Phishing," also known as "brand spoofing" or "carding," is
       a trick Internet scammers use to "fish" for consumers' financial
       information and password data using fake company e-mails and Web
       sites. Many companies, like AT&T, will not send e-mail requests to
       customers asking for personal account or credit card information.
       Instead of clicking the link in the e-mail, go to the site
       directly from your browser or search engine.

      Look for signs that a Website is secure before sending financial or
       personal data. Secure sites will often show a "lock" icon or there
       will be an "s" after the "http" ("https://"). If you don't see
       these indications, then the site is probably not secure and you
       should carefully consider whether to send personal or financial
       data over the site.

      Talk to your kids, teens, and tweens. Teach children to never share
       their name, address, phone number, school name or any other
       personal information about their family while online.

      Use the parental control tools available to make your job easier.
       Parental controls, such as AT&T's Smart Limits, enable you to
       establish sensible boundaries around the technology your family
       uses on a daily basis and to determine how and when your children
       can use their phone, computer or other connected device.

Last year, AT&T announced its support with the American School Counselor Association of iKeepSafe's Project PRO, an effort to teach students how to protect their privacy and reputation online. Project PRO enables school counselors, parents and teens to become an active part in managing a student's digital reputation through innovative educational resources such as video clips and training documents. To date, more than 4,200 educators and counselors throughout the country have sought out the curriculum.

"The Internet Keep Safe Coalition is thrilled to work with AT&T in commemoration of Data Privacy Day, and to join the effort in helping to raise awareness and educate the public on data safeguards," said iKeepSafe President Marsali Hancock. "We applaud AT&T's efforts to expand awareness about the need to protect your security, privacy and safety to families nationwide. Let this Day serve as a catalyst for all of us to improve the way we manage our personal privacy online."

To help consumers have a safer online experience, AT&T offers a full library of supportive Internet safety and security tips and interactive safety games for children, all available at

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates - AT&T operating companies - are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse(SM) and AT&T | DIRECTV(SM) brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T's Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

© 2010 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. 3G service not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.


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