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June 10, 2006, 5:20 am
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Free diagnostic tool checks security settings of PCs and home
Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service
Thursday, June 08, 2006
AOL plans to release today a free application that checks the security
software and settings of PCs and home networks and lets users know
about vulnerabilities it detects.
Called Active Security Monitor, the diagnostic tool is available as a
free download. Users don't need to be AOL subscribers to download the
If the tool is installed on a PC that belongs to a home network, the
tool can also check the network's security configuration and report
its findings to the user.
If all PCs on a home network are outfitted with Active Security
Monitor, the application is also able to provide a comprehensive
snapshot of the general security status of every PC and the network in
a single dashboard-type interface.
"This application is designed to give users a good, independent
assessment of their overall security situation," said John McKinley,
president of AOL Digital Services.
The tool is designed to help users keep their security applications
updated and their system's security settings properly configured, he
This is increasingly complicated, because users have to keep track of
a growing variety of security applications, including antivirus
software, security patches, spyware catchers, and firewalls. "You're
only as strong as your weakest link," he said.
By default, the application does a security survey once every day, but
users can modify this to run more often, he said. AOL had been beta
testing Active Security Monitor since mid-May.
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