AOL Offers Free Antivirus Software

AOL today announced the free availability of its new Active Virus Shield for Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT, and XP, adding virus protection to the company’s new spate of free online offerings.

Based on software from Internet security developer Kaspersky Lab, Active Virus Shield aims to stop viruses, Trojans, spyware, and other malware before they can attack a Windows-based PC; the software also offers real-time scanning of incoming files and both incoming and outgoing email to check for infected files and other potential dangers. The software updates itself every hour via the Internet to pick up the latest virus and danger definitions.

“The consumer PC security experience is long overdue for re-invention. With so many consumers online with inadequate security safeguards, it is time to make things like virus protection a fundamental right, not a risk,” said John McKinley, President of AOL Digital Services in a statement. “AOL has always been committed to protecting online users from threats to their safety, and Active Virus Shield is a key product in AOL’s comprehensive free line-up of safety and security offerings, which range from free protection and diagnostic tools like Active Security Monitor to all-in-one security services. To us, it’s a simple value proposition—AVS is a great free anti-virus solution for today’s online households and is one of the most advanced offerings in the market.”

Active Virus Shield also has features which notify users of their current protection status and can back off from virus scans and other actions during periods of peak users activity to avoid impeding the computer’s performance at a user’s tasks.

With the Active Virus Shield download, AOL is also offering a free toolbar for Internet Explorer which provides real-time data on their computer’s security, as well as a pop-up blocker, password manager, and tools to look up Whois information on potentially dicey sites.

Active Virus Shield is available free of charge with no AOL membership required, although the company does want an email address before you download.