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Thursday, November 18, 2004

AOL: $14.95 for peace of mind?

The new, 9.0 version of AOL - launched today - is all about PC security, and it may in fact be one of the best options for less-than-tech-literate parents not blessed with in-house, kid tech support. I'm saying this because, at my son's hockey practice the other day, another mom told me her family's connected to the Net, but they hardly ever use their computer because it keeps getting viruses (she didn't know what a firewall was and they didn't have anti-virus software installed - I was glad I could help out). AOL 9.0 "includes McAfee VirusScan Online, AOL Spyware Protection, antispam control and a system to thwart instant-messaging spam (or 'spim')," CNET reports - plus the firewall, pop-up controls, parental controls, and alerts for unauthorized bank and credit card activity that were available to AOL subscribers before. That's all included in dialup customers' $23.95/month service and in the $14.95 "bring your own access" (BYOA) service for customers who want to use a different broadband Internet provider. Which all boils down to $14.95 for peace of mind when you just want to get on with using the Net!


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