AOL Active Virus Shield

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On Monday, AOL released a free software-based virus scanning service powered by technology from Kaspersky Labs. The software, called Active Virus Shield includes technology to enable real-time scanning of files and e-mail, and would update automatically each hour.

Active Virus Shield arrives as part of AOL’s new initiative to provide its products at no cost to users. “The consumer PC security experience is long overdue for re-invention. With so many consumers online with inadequate security safeguards, it is time to make things like virus protection a fundamental right, not a risk,” said John McKinley, President of AOL Digital Services in a statement.

“AOL has always been committed to protecting online users from threats to their safety, and Active Virus Shield is a key product in AOL’s comprehensive free line-up of safety and security offerings, which range from free protection and diagnostic tools like Active Security Monitor to all-in-one security services. To us, it’s a simple value proposition—AVS is a great free anti-virus solution for today’s online households and is one of the most advanced offerings in the market.”

After installation, the application will continuously monitor for threats. Besides, in an effort to make the process as invisible as possible, AOL has tuned the service to allocate more computer resources during periods of increased use. Hence in this way, the virus-scanning process would not interfere with system performance.

Additionally, Active Virus Shield also includes an IE toolbar that provides real-time data on security status, as well as provide a password manager, pop-up blocker, and a link to the Whois domain registration database.

“In today’s environment of organized cybercrime and ever-changing online threats, it’s more important than ever for consumers to have comprehensive virus and spyware protection that’s continuously updated and easy-to-use,” said Steve Orenberg, President, Kaspersky Labs.

Free virus protection may also help to solve the issue of so many users leaving themselves vulnerable by running no anti-virus software at all. According to a survey by AOL, 56 percent of computer users either had no protection, or had not updated their virus software in the past seven days.[source]

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