McAfee releases consumer Internet security suite

McAfee released a new PC security suite Thursday.

McAfee's new consumer-focused Internet Security Suite 2006, with protections against spyware and phishing scams, is now available, the company announced.

The product, including virus and identity theft protection, is available for download at www.mcafee.com for US$69.99, according to a press release. McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006 also protects against the permanent loss of documents and files such as digital photos and personal financial data. The software prohibits unauthorized access to and from the Internet, and blocks unwanted pop-up ads and unwanted programs that can lead to poor PC performance. It manages cookies, and filters unwanted and offensive Internet and e-mail content, the company said.

In a phishing scam, criminals attempt to direct computer users to a bogus Web site designed to look like a legitimate banking or e-commerce site, in an attempt to get people to enter credit card or bank account numbers. In many cases, phishing scams start with spam designed to look like e-mail from the real site.

Included in the package:

-- Automatic virus and spyware detection, which identifies, blocks and removes identified viruses and unwanted programs such as spyware, Trojans and dialers. Unlike some other products that allow spyware to run and then notify the user, McAfee blocks known spyware programs from running so no damage can be done, the company said.

-- Phishing protection, using McAfee's AntiPhishing browser plug-in, identifies and blocks known and potential phishing Web sites and scams. While some products focus on blocking phishing e-mail only, McAfee Internet Security Suite notifies consumers when they are about to visit a known or suspected phishing Web site. The software stops pop-ups from adware or other software that could redirect a user to a fraudulent site and alerts users when transmitting personal identification information. The suite also helps prevent phishing attacks before they reach a user's email inbox by using a set of spam filters developed to specifically target phishing, the company said.

-- Automated, daily updates, with the goal of keeping PCs protected from recently discovered virus and spyware threats. Daily updates automatically download and install in the background, requiring no user interaction.

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006 will be available in a boxed edition from all major retailers in October for US$69.99. Three-user license packs will have a suggested price of US$129.99. Customers can choose a number of subscription options.

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Grant Gross

IDG News Service

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