- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006

This one is well worth investigating:

AOL today announced that it is making the AOL Safety and Security Center, a comprehensive set of online safety and security tools, available for free to all computer users. The AOL Safety and Security Center includes free anti-virus software, spyware protection, a firewall, phishing protection and more. It will be available to all online users at no cost and with no obligation, and it can be installed on nearly any PC with the Windows XP or 2000 operating systems.

Always on guard, the AOL Safety and Security Center helps protect a user’s entire PC against viruses, spyware, hackers, spammers, identity thieves and other online threats. The software automatically updates to protect against new and emerging threats, offering an easy and convenient way for consumers, particularly those on broadband connections, to protect themselves from the thousands of new online threats — including viruses, spyware, and phishing attacks — each month.

Among the features in the free AOL Safety and Security Center:

• Virus protection powered by McAfee that is automatically-updated when the user is online to help protect their entire computer from viruses, trojans and other online threats.

• AOL(R) Spyware Protection, powered by CA’s eTrust PestPatrol, that offers four different levels of protection against more than 31,000 known spyware, adware, and sneakware programs.

• Phishing protection that helps prevent theft of personal information by blocking access to known phishing sites when using the AOL Explorer browser or AOL client software (powered by anti-phishing services from RSA Security/Cyota, MarkMonitor, and Cyveillance).

• A robust firewall, powered by McAfee, that helps protect users against hackers and other online attacks.

• A single unified console that updates users about the status of all of the AOL security software on their computer, including anti-virus, spyware protection, firewall, phishing protection, Parental Controls (available soon), spam protection, pop-up controls, and more.

• Easy-to-adjust settings, with a default setting that automatically does a comprehensive scan of users’ computers at regular intervals for online threats.

In addition, AOL announced its award-winning Parental Controls will be available as part of the AOL Safety and Security Center starting in September. AOL Parental Controls help limit access by children to inappropriate content on the Web and allow parents to configure custom controls, such as an online timer and a regular AOL Guardian “report card” of their activity online. Parental Controls also include Internet Access Controls, which can help parents protect their children by preventing them from circumventing the controls, regardless of who is providing the access or over what connection.

The AOL Safety and Security Center is available for download by users with an AOL screenname at www.aol.com/safety. Users who do not have an AOL screenname — including current AIM users — can create one for free at www.aol.com. AOL members who canceled within the past two years can use their former screenname and password after they reactivate it by logging into the AOL software or AOL Mail.

If you need these items, you’ll want to check this out. And kudos to AOL, by the way.

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