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Trend Micro Tackles Misinformation and Fraud with Free Tool

New tool with features from NewsGuard empowers users to trust what they read online

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cyber security, launched a new tool for identifying fraud and misinformation in the U.S. The free offering is designed to help users protect themselves against online security threats, including privacy violations, false claims, and spreaders of misinformation. This tool is another strong step towards the company’s mission to make the digital world a safer place.

Trend Micro Check was launched in response to the avalanche of misinformation increasingly published online, a topic Trend Micro has been researching for several years. Previously made available in Japan and Taiwan, the U.S. version includes a new feature from NewsGuard that provides trust ratings for thousands of news sites.

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“Our society is facing one of its greatest challenges today in the publication and re-sharing of misinformation,” said Lynette Owens, founder and global director of Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF) program. “We hope this latest tool will offer users an additional safety net and supplemental resources to stay safe online, which will further provide a basis for them to evaluate what they’re reading online and whether the sites they’re visiting can be trusted or not.”

The tool’s security and privacy features are particularly important. According to a report from Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there have been 118,182 fraud reports in the US in 2020 so far, causing $160.75 million in loss for cyber fraud victims. Online scams are even more prevalent this year, as fraudsters seek to capitalize on the pandemic and the resulting surge in e-commerce.

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Trend Micro Check has four key elements:

  • Security Check uses Trend Micro’s world-leading threat intelligence to check if a website/URL is fraudulent or infected with malware.
  • Privacy Check taps Trend Micro’s ID Security service to see if users’ email addresses have appeared for sale on the dark web, enabling them to change passwords accordingly.
  • Fact Check leverages the Google Fact Check API to surface information from third-party fact-checking sites, helping users to ascertain the trustworthiness of an article, post, picture or audio message.
  • News Reputation Check partners with NewsGuard to provide information about the trustworthiness of news and information websites based on nine basic – apolitical criteria of journalistic practice relating to credibility and transparency.

“Our human intelligence team is pleased to partner with Trend Micro as it takes this important step to root out the online misinformation creating a global ‘infodemic,'” said Steven Brill, NewsGuard co-CEO. “NewsGuard’s addition to Trend Micro Check will give people the context they need to decide which news sources to trust and which to take with a grain of salt.”

Unlike current market offerings, Trend Micro Check can perform real-time total detection all in one place, giving consumers the ability to act quickly based on the results. Over the past two-and-a-half years, Trend Micro Check has been used 1.35 billion times by users to combat misinformation and fraud in Japan and Taiwan.

Trend Micro Check is currently available in the U.S. for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Google Chrome extension users. This free and intuitive tool is available 24/7, allowing users easy access to news transparency.

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