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McAfee Support Notification Service (SNS) Frequently Asked Questions
Technical Articles ID:  KB67828
Last Modified:  10/14/2014


McAfee Support Notification Service (SNS) is a proactive communications offering for McAfee corporate customers, partners, and employees. When you subscribe to SNS and select your products, you receive important, timely information by email and text to help maximize the functionality and protection capabilities of your McAfee products.

SNS communications are:

  • Free, private, and secure
  • Focused on the products you select
  • Easy to opt into and out of

To subscribe and select your products, go to the SNS Subscription Center at https://sns.snssecure.mcafee.com/content/signup_login.

For answers to frequently asked questions about SNS, see these sections:

Receiving SNS
Email Messages
Text Messages

Receiving SNS

What kind of information will I receive, and how frequently?
The communication method for all subscribers is email for standard notices. If you provide a valid cell/mobile phone number, you will be sent Alert communications by text message in addition to email.

McAfee SNS delivers the following types of information:

  • Product Advisories — includes Notices (standard product news and updates sent the same day), and Alerts (critical and urgent information requiring immediate customer action). Sent as required.
  • Weekly Roundup — provides all product news for the last seven days in one weekly email (Thursday afternoons CT).
  • SNS ProTip — feature product-specific troubleshooting, best practice, and educational tips with links to McAfee Knowledge Base resources to help you maximize the deployment and functionality of a specific product. Sent one to three times per week.
  • SNS Journals — practical newsletter editions featuring product troubleshooting, new technology, malware trends, and security best practices. Usually sent monthly.

Are SNS messages tracked?
The SNS team tracks link click-throughs to evaluate message clarity and usefulness. Subscriber action is a strong indicator of the effectiveness of the messages sent. McAfee compares the number of click-throughs with data on Support queue call volume to determine the usefulness of individual notices and decide if further communications are needed. This data allows the SNS team to improve message content and program value.

Why are my messages from snssecure.mcafee.com being classed as spam?
Your email systems might not recognize this domain as genuine email from McAfee and mark the email as potential spam. Ensure you whitelist snssecure.mcafee.com and mcafeeincsns@en25.com. If you have any questions, email sns@mcafee.com.

I am receiving SNS messages from snssecure.mcafee.com - is this a phishing attack?
No. This is a dedicated domain that McAfee hosts through Eloqua.

Why do I see header information from mcafeeincsns@en25.com in SNS messages?
This domain is the Eloqua server that pushes McAfee SNS email. You can see more info on it via McAfee SiteAdvisor at http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/en25.com/.

What is Eloqua, and why do some SNS communications show an Eloqua domain address?
Eloqua is a third-party company (and also the name of their software system) used by SNS to distribute email. Although Eloqua is commonly used as a marketing tool for running campaigns, measurement and lead nurturing, the core of the system — its database, interface (for email and hypersites/subscription page creation), and distribution plus bounceback management — is being used more frequently for serious technical communications programs - such as SNS.

Why does McAfee use Eloqua?
Using an outside provider for SNS communications offers advantages in terms of business continuity and security. SNS sends more than a million product notices each month. In the event of a critical incident that could affect datacenters or local networks, McAfee's ability to communicate with customers would not be impacted. SNS is not networked or connected to any McAfee systems and no account data is accessible.

I have heard that Eloqua is spyware - is that true?
No. Oracle Eloqua (http://www.eloqua.com/) is a premier vendor used by many organizations including McAfee. Although Eloqua is commonly used as a tool for running marketing campaigns, the system's database, user interface, reporting, and distribution-bounceback management are also used for technical communications programs like SNS.

Does McAfee use the subscriber list for marketing purposes?
No. SNS subscriptions through the Support Subscription Center are separate from all other McAfee opt-in lists, and will not be used for marketing purposes.

What products are included in the SNS Service?
All McAfee products fall into one of the categories listed. If information news, or updates are generated, it will be included in the Notice for the appropriate category. If you are unsure about which category to use for your product, email sns@mcafee.com.

Does SNS use Transport Layer Security?
Currently, SNS does not use Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS continues to be on the overall roadmap but there is no ETA for deployment. Eloqua is ISO27001 certified(https://www.brightline.com/ISOCertificate/dvSyGKSeQVCQ), and some customers are willing to exempt Eloqua IP addresses from their TLS requirement.


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How do I subscribe, unsubscribe, or change my products or notification selections?
Go to the SNS Subscription Center at https://sns.snssecure.mcafee.com/content/signup_login and complete and submit the preference form.

Is there a limit to how many account contacts can sign up?
No. However, you should be accurate when you define your primary role with regarding McAfee products in your environments.

Do Platinum customers have to subscribe?
No. However, McAfee strongly encourages all customers, regardless of their Support level, to subscribe to SNS.

Can I have my IT service provider get SNS notifications?
Yes. Direct your service provider to the SNS Subscription Center at https://sns.snssecure.mcafee.com/content/signup_login and ask them to complete the form. A company can use a distribution list or special email address (support@xxxx.com) to ensure those technicians on call get the message, or it goes to multiple people.

How secure is the subscription form?
McAfee provides the following SNS subscriber security:

  • SSL certification of the subscription site for secure data transmission
  • Secure access for returning subscribers, with identity confirmation and email validation if cookies are absent
  • A separate off-site database not connected to McAfee customer account data

How is my SNS Subscription form pre-populated?
The SNS Subscription Center is pre-populated by user email and password verification.
What are the available product/information categories?

Application & Change Control Email & Web Protection Security as a Service (SaaS)
Advanced Threat Defense Firewall Site Advisor Enterprise
Database Security Host IPS SIEM (Security Info & Event Mgmt)
Data Loss Prevention Asset Manager VirusScan
Endpoint Encryption Vulnerability Manager DAT Delays
Enterprise Mobility Mgmt Network Security Malware & Threat Reports
ePolicy Orchestrator Policy Auditor  

What is the 'ALERT Only' option?
You can select the 'ALERTS Only' category option if you want to receive only critical product information that requires action. You will not receive regular technical operations information if you choose this option. NOTE: SNS ALERTs are infrequent and comprise less than two percent of all emails sent. Customers who want less email but want to know about general product changes should opt into the SNS Weekly Roundup (Step 3 on the subscription form) which is published every Thursday.

What determines if a notice is an ALERT?
ALERT status is determined by severity and urgency. An ALERT is triggered if immediate customer action is required.

Do I have to submit my phone numbers to subscribe to SNS?
No. However, if you want to receive ALERT communications via text message, then you must submit a valid cell/mobile phone number.

What do the abbreviations in the Geographic Location field mean?
McAfee divides its global operations into these geographic regions:

APAC Asia, Pacific
EMEA Europe, Middle East, Africa
JPN Japan
LTAM Latin America
NA North America


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Email Messages

What is an ALERT?
An ALERT contains critical information that requires immediate customer action, such as vulnerabilities, false positives, virus outbreaks, or critical remediation updates. ALERTS are distributed immediately.

What is a Notice?
A Notice contains important product information, such as patch releases, changes, enhancements, or End of Life statements. Notices are distributed within four hours of submission.

What is the Weekly Roundup?
The Weekly Roundup is a digest of ALERTS and Notices sent in the previous seven days. It is published every Thursday.

What is an SNS ProTip?
A ProTip is a product best practice, how-to description, trouble-shooting explanation, or feature quick view email. It is created by McAfee support engineers and sent one to three times per week. ProTips can help you maximize the deployment and functionality of a specific product (e.g., “SNS ProTip for Firewall Enterprise”). Subscribers can elect to receive ProTip emails via the SNS Subscription Center.

What are DAT Delay Notices?
McAfee Labs provides DAT file updates daily. If there is an issue that causes the daily DAT file to be delayed more than two hours, McAfee sends a Delay Notice via SNS.


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Text Messages

How can I get text messages from SNS?
Text messages are not used for standard Notices, but only in the event of an ALERT. To activate this service, go to the SNS Subscription Center at https://sns.snssecure.mcafee.com/content/signup_login, fill in the mobile phone field and test your phone number. If you receive the test message and validate it successfully, you will automatically receive text messages in the event of an SNS ALERT. 

How do I stop receiving text messages?
To stop receiving text messages, go to your subscription page and delete you cell/mobile phone number.

What text messages can I expect to receive?
SNS sends text messages for ALERTS only. ALERT situations are less than two percent of all emails sent. When they are triggered, immediate customer action is required.

Why is it important to give you my cell/mobile phone number?
During a critical event, SNS sends text messages as well as an email to subscribers who have added their cell/mobile phone numbers on their subscription form. This is useful, for example, in case of an incident that affects email servers.

To add yourself to the text message ALERT list:
  1. Go to the SNS Subscription Center Login page at: http://snssecure.mcafee.com/content/signup_login and login.
    1. If you have forgotten your key, click Forgot/Reset Security Key.
    2. Type your email address and Request Type, and click Submit. A new security key will be generated and sent to your email address (allow 30 minutes).
    3. Open the email and click the SNS Subscription Center link.
    4. Log in using your email address and new security key.
  2. Add or change your cell phone number.
  3. Review your subscription preferences.
  4. Change your security key.

Look for the validation text message (allow up to 60 minutes) and respond with Yes to validate your number. If you have any SNS questions, contact sns@mcafee.com.

I can't seem to verify my mobile number. Will I get ALERT messages?
That depends. In the event of an ALERT, McAfee SNS sends text messages to both verified and unverified numbers. However, to ensure your cell/mobile phone number actually will receive these messages, it is important to test and verify. If you have issues with verification, contact sns@mcafee.com.

I am not receiving text messages - what's wrong?
Although McAfee SNS ensures text messages are sent successfully, sometimes there are reasons outside of our control that can prevent text message delivery including, local carrier issues, blocked numbers, unsupported carriers, and national regulations. If you are not receiving SNS text messages, email sns@mcafee.com.

Does SNS support Google Voice?
Yes. SNS supports Google Voice.

Does SNS support pagers?
No. SNS does not support pager messaging. McAfee suggests that you sign up for SNS cell/mobile phone text messaging instead. (Text messaging is used during ALERT events only.)

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