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McAfee updates antivirus, firewall and system-cleaning software

McAfee Security, a division of Network Associates, will announce updates to its line of security products next month. The announcements will include its antivirus and personal firewall software, as well as its system-cleaning tool.

All of the new McAfee Security software will sport enhanced user interface designs and will be easier to configure, said McAfee product manager Lisa Smith. The new products will be available mid-September.

VirusScan Home 7.0 integrates the company's personal firewall software to give users an even higher level of protection against viruses and worms.

The software also extends McAfee's HAWK (Hostile Activity Watch Kernel) features to allow users to scan for viruses in SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) e-mail received in programs such as Outlook Express and Eudora. Also included in the new version is Script Stopper, a tool designed to block the spread of script-based viruses.

VirusScan 7.0 Professional is a more heavy-duty antivirus program that includes all of the features of the Home version, while adding QuickClean Lite, a tool to clean and free up space on disks, and antivirus scanning for PalmOS and other handheld devices, she said. VirusScan 7.0 Home will cost $49.95, while Professional will retail for $59.95.

Firewall 4.0, the latest version of McAfee's personal firewall product, adds McAfee.com's Visual Trace software, which allows users to determine the physical location of users trying to connect to their computers.

There is more detail in firewall alerts, along with easier-to-create rules and a basic software security check designed to ensure that all the software on a PC is up to date. McAfee Firewall 4.0 will cost $29.99.

The company will also update its QuickClean software, a tool designed to uninstall applications, remove unneeded files and free up disk space. Version 3.0 of QuickClean, a more full-featured version of the QuickClean Lite included with VirusScan 7.0 Professional, will offer users the ability to delete "spyware", applications that secretly monitor users' behaviour, as well as file "shredding" options designed to make deleted files unrecoverable, Smith said. Quick Clean 3.0 will retail at $29.99.

Lastly, McAfee Internet Security 5.0 will incorporate updated versions of VirusScan, Firewall and QuickClean, as well as offering users the ability to detect and delete stealth programs such as keyloggers and Web bugs, another technique used by Web sites to track users' surfing habits.

Internet Security 5.0 will also include tools to block pop-up ads on the Internet and to filter content out of newsgroups, she added. The new suite will cost $69.99.

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