AVG Launches New Protection Against Identity Theft, Boosts Free Product Protection

Latest upgrade aims to prevent newest digital threats from becoming digital disasters

AMSTERDAM, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Identity theft is now the number one Internet-based crime and claims almost ten million online and offline victims at a cost of $48 billion in the US alone, according to the Javelin Strategy & Research, 2008 Identity Fraud Survey Report published last month. CIFAS, the UK's Fraud Prevention Service, estimates that identity theft is costing that country's economy over $3.4 billion annually. To help users protect their personal and private information online, AVG Technologies, developer of the world's leading free computer security product, today introduces AVG Identity Protection (IDP).

AVG Identity Protection gives computer users an additional layer of protection on top of their existing security software. IDP is specifically focused on helping to prevent thieves from using carefully-targeted attacks to steal passwords, bank account details, credit card numbers, and other digital valuables. It uses a technology called behavioral analysis to make sure all the programs running on a user's computer are operating the way they should. If it spots something suspicious that could indicate an attempted ID theft attack, it shuts that activity down, preventing any possible theft from happening. It doesn't matter whether users are running AVG software or security software from another vendor; IDP runs smoothly alongside all popular programs to keep users safer when they're online.

"Computer users need to be confident that when they're banking and shopping online, they won't become a victim of identity theft," says AVG Technologies CEO JR Smith. "Anti-virus alone can't give users the level of security people need in today's complex, fast-moving threat landscape. AVG Identity Protection gives them the confidence that they're safe from the bad guys."

AVG Identity Protection is the headline product in today's launch of an across-the-board upgrade to the AVG family of security software for home and small business users. The technology in IDP has also been combined with the company's Internet Security suite, which provides total protection for all aspects of users' online lives. In addition to the new Identity Protection, AVG Internet Security defends against viruses, spyware, worms, hackers, botnets, poisoned web pages, trojan horses, spam, and other cyberthreats with a full arsenal of digital weaponry. Whether users are surfing, e-mailing, instant-messaging, or downloading files, Internet Security stops threats from becoming problems.

"We know the security challenges users face in their daily lives," says Smith. "Our products are designed to prevent those challenges from becoming problems, leaving users free to get on with their digital lives. They're easy to set up, easy to use, easy to find - and some of them are even free, for ever."

AVG's Free product also gets a boost with this upgrade, adding Active Safe-Surf real-time protection to the existing anti-virus, anti-spyware, instant message security and safe-searching capabilities. Today's web threats move at lightning speed and only stay around long enough to scoop up their victim quota, so real-time detection is vital. Active Safe-Surf checks the web page behind every link for hidden threats at the only time that matters - when users are about to click on that link.

Improvements to the small business products focus on the company's Exchange Server products, which gain a long-awaited upgrade to centralized anti-spam protection that will make life much easier for those tasked with managing networked e-mail.

A peek under the hood

AVG Identity Protection is based around the technology AVG acquired when it bought the Sana Security company earlier this year. This technology helps to prevent identity-related attacks by analyzing the behavior and characteristics of malicious programs and using the knowledge gained to create protection that doesn't require "signature updates" to stay current. The software is continuously learning and improving its protection, based on information drawn from real threats encountered by real users, ensuring that users are always protected against new and unknown threats.

"Tens of thousands of new virus samples arrive in security companies' labs every day," says AVG Technologies CTO Karel Obluk. "It is simply not feasible for traditional signature-based anti-virus to keep up with this level of activity from the bad guys. So while it's important to continue to use anti-virus to protect against the known viruses that are out there 'in the wild', it's vital for users to have an additional protective layer against the unknown."

AVG Active Safe-Surf further enhances users' protection against unknown threats by analyzing web pages in real time for hidden threats and exploits such as drive-by downloads. Unlike other safe-surf products which rely on historical data acquired by periodically scanning sites across the Internet based on a variety of criteria, Active Safe-Surf bases its safety ratings on real-time analysis of individual web pages, ensuring an accurate assessment of a page's current status.

The new anti-spam module in AVG's Internet Security for SBS and E-mail Server Edition is based around the widely-used Mailshell engine, ensuring stability, compatibility, and ease of management from a central point. This ease of use is further enhanced with the addition of a single installation process for all components.

Product availability and pricing

The complete AVG 8.5 family of products is available now online and through retail and reseller channels.

For more information on the complete range of AVG security products for consumers and small businesses, please visit www.avg.com.

Follow AVG on Twitter @OfficialAVGNews

About AVG Technologies

AVG is a global security solutions leader protecting more than 80 million consumers and small business computer users in 167 countries from the ever-growing incidence of web threats, viruses, spam, cyber-scams and hackers on the Internet. Headquartered in Amsterdam, AVG has nearly two decades of experience in combating cyber crime and one of the most advanced laboratories for detecting, pre-empting and combating Web-borne threats from around the world. Its free online, downloadable software model allows entry-level users to gain basic anti-virus protection and then to easily and inexpensively upgrade to greater levels of safety and defense in both single and multi-user environments. Nearly 6,000 resellers, partners and distributors team with AVG globally including Amazon.com, CNET, Cisco, Ingram Micro, Play.com, Wal-Mart, and Yahoo!. More information is available at www.avg.com.

SOURCE AVG Technologies



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