McAfee helps block junk e-mails and keep kids safe

Antivirus and security firm McAfee has launched two products - Parental Controls to keep your kids safe while they surf, and SpamKiller, which protects you from unsolicited emails.

Parental Controls is already a part of McAfee's Internet Security Suite, which also offers virus protection and a firewall, but the company believes it will be successful as a cheaper, standalone product. It costs just £17 (ex VAT) as opposed to a penny under £50 for the whole suite (no details on Australian availability).

McAfee product marketing manager Marc Vos said, "There is a growing market for parental controls, particularly with home networking and broadband in the home." The product allows parents to block sites containing any of a list of hundreds of words, they can also add their own keywords to the banned list, so children will be denied access to unsuitable sites.

The controls can be varied according to the age of the child so, for example, a 16-year-old would be able to access more sites than their eight-year-old sibling. Parents can also overrule the controls by entering a password to permit access to sites on an ad hoc basis. A list of any banned sites children have tried to access will be stored for parents to view.

Other features allow users to protect private information such as credit card details, to suppress unsuitable content in chat rooms and message clients and to limit the amount of time children can spend online.

The second product that will join the McAfee catalogue on Monday is SpamKiller (no details on Australian availability). This is the first product to come from McAfee since it has been brought back into its parent company, Network Associates, following an short lived foray into internet-only territory as McAfee.com.

SpamKiller is, as the name suggests, designed to stop junk emails from clogging your inbox. It uses constantly updated custom filters to block unwanted messages based on factors including sender, subject line and country of origin.

Junk mail will be held for up to three weeks in a special folder so you don't lose vital messages caught in the SpamKiller net. It will also bounce back junk messages, making senders believe your email address isn't live.

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