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AOL Unveils Free Security Monitor

AOL Thursday launched free security monitoring software in yet another attempt to coax users to hang onto their subscriptions to the giant ISP.

Active Security Monitor tracks in-place anti-virus and spyware protection, looks for a firewall and wireless security, and verifies that Windows and the browser is up-to-date. It then generates a numeric score for each PC on the home network and makes recommendations to fix flaws.

"Most people don't have all of the core security protections they need and, worse, don't realize how vulnerable they are," said John McKinley, president of AOL's security group, in a statement. "Not having updated virus, spyware, and firewall protection is like locking your front door, but leaving your windows and back door wide open.

"Active Security Monitor regularly checks to ensure that all of the core protections are active and up to date."

The approach is similar to what Windows XP provides in its Security Center, or the control/status panel that security-specific vendors such as Symantec and McAfee include with their software suites.

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