NEW YORK - Users of Verizon Online's Verizon Internet Security Suite (VISS) can now be safer and more productive than ever before as the company adds a fraud protection and a PC Tune-Up tool to the popular online protection service. The new features are available at no additional charge to VISS subscribers.
March is Fraud Protection Month, and Internet service providers, consumer advocates and industry experts are reminding Internet users that identity thieves are stalking the Web. The addition of a fraud protection feature makes VISS one of the most comprehensive Internet defense plans on the market today.
The new fraud protection feature shields Internet users from a common online threat known as phishing. The feature proactively alerts users when they unknowingly attempt to access fraudulent Web sites that aim to steal important personal information. If the tool detects a phishing site, a warning is displayed and the page is blocked. Users can bypass this warning by entering their security password. To ensure the most complete and up-to-date list of phishing URLs, the service's list of fraudulent Web sites is compiled from multiple sources and updated 24 hours a day.
"Nobody wants to become an identity thief's catch of the day," said Michael Cai, an analyst with Parks Associates and an outspoken advocate of online fraud protection. "Yet in nearly a third of all cases, online users open phishing e-mails luring them to fraudulent sites seeking their banking or other personal information. To date, the lack of consumer education and ineffective protection tools have been to blame for the increase in online fraud threats.
"By offering users a comprehensive method of protecting themselves against phishing attacks, Verizon is addressing a common online fraud issue that has affected over 30 million Americans," Cai said.
Bill Heilig, vice president of Verizon Broadband Solutions, said, "Now reaching epidemic proportions, phishing attacks continue to increase in number year over year, costing Americans billions of dollars. Verizon offers a safer experience online by providing consumers with more ways to shield themselves from these attacks."
New subscribers of VISS will get the new features immediately, while existing VISS subscribers will be upgraded by the end of April or can download the feature right away via www.verizon.net/VISSUpgrade. To learn more about the urgency of fraud protection, visit http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/security-suite to read an article by Michael Cai.
PC Tune-Up Tool Optimizes Online Performance
To further enhance consumers' online experience and to improve personal computer performance, Verizon also has added a PC Tune-Up feature to its security suite. The PC Tune-Up can speed Web browser performance, as well as e-mail and virus scans. It quietly runs in the background and automatically performs tune-ups on a regularly scheduled basis.
The tool provides:
- Disk Defragmentation - Speeds access to files and programs.
- Drive Cleanup - Removes clutter and repairs drive problems that can slow PC performance.
In addition to the new fraud protection and PC Tune-Up features, Verizon's Internet Security Suite includes:
- Anti-virus - Helps protect against known malicious viruses, worms and Trojans by detecting them, removing them and cleaning the affected files. The service runs in the background and blocks incoming virus attacks and related threats, including e-mail. Updates occur every three hours and are transparent to the end-user.
- Anti-spyware - Offers powerful, up-to-date protection that automatically detects and eliminates a broad range of the spyware and tracking software that inappropriately tracks personal information and is widely responsible for degrading PC performance and online access. This service acts as a preventive step against the installation of hidden programs in a customer's system and can detect and remove more than 60,000 kinds of spyware.
- Firewall - Acts as a shield to automatically block unauthorized intrusions, malicious hackers and other hostile attempts to access customers' computers. The Firewall is an easy-to-use, yet powerful defense for both dial-up and high-speed connections.
- Parental control - Allows consumers to monitor and manage Internet usage by determining the types of content and specific sites that may be accessed. Parents can also define appropriate Internet usage and schedules, and block access to non-permitted Internet Web sites.
- Pop-up/ad blocker - Helps ensure a browsing session that is faster and less cluttered by blocking online ads such as pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, animations and tile ads.
- Privacy manager - Scans all outgoing communications for sensitive or identifying information to help prevent its release without user consent. It also provides control over cookies and how much information Web sites record about browsing habits. And it has a cleanup utility feature that allows users to automatically remove traces of data left behind by Internet Explorer, MSN Explorer and Windows.
- Content management - Enables small-business customers to increase employee productivity by controlling the time of day and day of week for Internet access as well as ensuring users do not receive or have access to sites not intended for them.
While some security products appear daunting to install and update, the Verizon Internet Security Suite offers a simplified download and then operates in the background to protect Internet users on several different fronts. The Verizon service has the added advantage of updating security software every three hours to make sure subscribers have the most current security tools to protect them.
All of the security suite coverage is available for a low monthly price of $4.99 from one of the most trusted network and Internet service providers. Many security products only include one of these services, and the customer must pay an additional charge for the others. By offering a comprehensive service, Verizon helps users stay protected on several fronts, with a minimal amount of effort.
The Verizon Internet Security Suite utilizes advanced technology from Radialpoint, provider of managed Internet security services.
More information regarding Verizon's security suite is available at www.verizon.net/VISS.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 66 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.