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AOL launches software to improve PC security

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MUMBAI: American internet service provider AOL has launched Active Security Monitor. This is a free downloadable program that continuously checks the status of key security programs - including anti-virus, firewall, spyware protection, wireless security and Windows/browser updates - on a user?s home computer.

Active Security Monitor assigns a Security Score to each PC on the user?s network and it offers specific recommendations based on the scan's results to improve user security.

AOL?s digital services division president John McKinley said, "The secret to security is information. Most people don?t have all of the core security protections they need and, worse, don?t realize how vulnerable they are. Not having updated virus, spyware, and firewall protection is like locking your front door, but leaving your windows and back door wide open."

"Active Security Monitor takes an entirely new approach to computer security by regularly checking to ensure that all of the core protections are active and up to date, and it extends that critical information to home networked environments," he added.

Active Security Monitor examines each computer on a user?s home network in eight areas: firewall, virus protection, spyware protection, Windows/browser updates, wireless security, P2P software and PC utilities. In each area, Active Security Monitor checks to see if that type of program exists, and if so, whether it is currently running and has been recently updated.

Key features of Active Security Monitor:

Simple, clear display of the current security status of each computer on a user?s home network.

Unified Security Score, a single score that offers a basic summary of each computer?s risk from viruses, identity theft and network intrusion.

Separate evaluations of each networked computer, so users can tell if security risks exist on any machine that could compromise the network.

Detection of system vulnerabilities and recommendations to help users download missing security patches and free or paid products to improve their PC's security.

Simulations that allow users to see how much their Security Score would improve by following the recommendations.

Always-on updates and alerts inform users of security status changes, for example, if an anti-virus programme?s definitions are not up to date.

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