American Online (AOL) is releasing a new, more secure browser. Included in the package are a firewall, antivirus and a popup blocker all courtesy of McAfee – also included are dozens of other small utilities designed to keep users safe.
The new, fortified, version of AOL’s popular software has been dubbed AOL 9.0 Security Edition, which is a free download to members. Code-named “Strauss,” the release is designed to meet AOL´s self-imposed checklist of safe online consumer needs which includes: a firewall, on- and off-line antivirus and spyware detection, parental controls, pop-up blocking, as well as protection from Spam and SpIM (Instant Messaging Spam).
An AOL spokesperson, in a recent interview with eWeek, noted that the change is largely due to the National Cyber Security Alliance study which showed that 80 percent of home computers contain spyware of some kind.
A huge addition to the software suite is the integration of offline protection as well, to continue to protect users after they have disconnected. The tools, which include virus scanning, a firewall, a spyware “zapper” and other utilities have a retail value of more than $200.
The move will be a huge benefit to AOL users who are typically less savvy than power users, where the protection is most needed.