You may be careful about the files your computer receives over the Internet, but what about the ones it sends out? McAfee.com Corp. announced Wednesday that the latest versions of its personal firewall products will work for outgoing applications as well.
Personal Firewall and Personal Firewall Plus now include outbound blocking and "application fingerprinting" to protect users from Trojan Horse programs and spyware that may have been installed on their computers.
Once the firewall is in place, no application will be able to communicate outside the computer without the user's consent. The first time an application requests access to the Internet, the firewall will alert the user and ask if this is to be permitted. Each trusted application will then be "fingerprinted" and allowed Internet access. Other applications will be blocked.
Symantec Corp.'s upgraded Norton Personal Firewall 2002 likewise claims to control which applications can access the Internet.
The McAfee Personal Firewall service costs US$29.95 annually. Personal Firewall Plus, which includes a graphical trace utility that lets the user trace an IP address on a world map, costs $39.95.