SocialGuard protects kids on Facebook

SocialGuard is part of a relatively new and burgeoning field of desktop apps that look to address growing parental concerns about how to keep children safe online in the Facebook age. It does a remarkable job of balancing cost with useful tools, although parents should be warned: SocialGuard is designed to make kids safer while encouraging communication, not impose draconian restrictions on your children's Facebook activity.

From the makers of the ZoneAlarm firewall, SocialGuard is a desktop client with deep hooks into Facebook. The company wants parents to use it as a starting place to encourage communication about online … Read more

Firewall freebie, 64-bit 'Fox

All you owners of 64-bit Windows computers will be pleased to know that Mozilla is finally throwing your Windows PC a bone. On Friday, Mozilla announced an early-stage version of a Firefox browser compatible with 64-bit processors. The experimental build is available to anyone brave enough to test an unstable, in-development browser, though we recommend taking caution if you do. Otherwise, patience should get you a stable version of Firefox 4 with support for 64-bit PCs around November.

It's been a long time since we've seen significant change to ZoneAlarm's Firewall, but a new version of the … Read more

Get ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall 2010 free (today only)

Keeping your PC secure requires diligence, common sense, and, perhaps most importantly, software. It's not enough to install antivirus and antispyware utilities; you also need a rock-solid firewall to keep hackers at bay.

Today only (in honor of my birthday, I'm guessing), Check Point Software is offering ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall 2010 absolutely free. That's a $39.95 value, my friends.

(Actually, what you're getting is a free one-year license. If you want to keep using ZoneAlarm after that, you'll have to pony up 40 bucks. On the other hand, this is the second year running … Read more

ZoneAlarm's 2010 suites include encryption

Best known for its ZoneAlarm firewall, Check Point Software has announced updates for ZoneAlarm's more full-featured security suites. Available in two versions, ZoneAlarm Internet Security 2010 gives users a robust firewall, antivirus and antispyware, and parental control package for $50, while ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010 adds Web browsing protection, system tune-up tools, backup options, and anti-phishing technology for $70.

ZoneAlarm is claiming faster performance in its antivirus and antispyware scans because it has unified them, something that its competitors did awhile back. The company says that users should expect scans to be 80 to 90 percent faster. The Internet … Read more

The season of security

The year 2010 may still officially be some months away, but that's not stopping security vendors from releasing major 2010 software upgrades to their antivirus apps and security suites. Just this week, Check Point Software released ZoneAlarm Internet Security 2010 and ZoneAlarm Extreme Security. What's the difference? The former is a complete suite with the familiar ZoneAlarm firewall, plus antivirus, antispyware, and parental controls. It costs $50. The latter lays on extra padding with Web browsing protection, antiphishing technology, and backup and system tune-up tools. It costs $70 for the complete set. How did the apps do? Read … Read more

ZoneAlarm goes Extreme

ZoneAlarm Extreme provides a high-end, all-in-one PC security and tune-up utility for users who are looking for a supermarket approach to their computer's ancillary functions. Under the Extreme roof, you'll get an antivirus, antispyware, firewall, and parental control utility. Additional browser, identity theft, and e-mail protection are also rolled in, while extras like the free 2GB of encrypted online backup and the tune-up utilities are accessible but have components that must be downloaded separately.

The interface is smooth and modern, with big labels to draw your eye to the biggest features in each pane. A left sidebar collects … Read more

Enhance your virus protection

ZoneAlarm Forcefield offers an extra layer of protection while browsing the Web by protecting users from spyware and phishing sites. While it did successfully notify us of suspicious content, we wouldn't rely solely on this program for protection.

Oddly, though the program claims to be free, a prompt appeared asking us if we wanted to buy now or continue the trial. Aside from this, we found the user interface very straightforward to operate. A toolbar appears in your IE window that can be minimized. There, you'll find a drop-down menu containing links to the publisher's Web site, … Read more

AVG update cripples some Windows XP systems

On Tuesday an update for AVG 8 suggested that a Windows system file is a Trojan horse, and users who delete the file form the system could leave their Windows XP systems endlessly rebooting or unable to reboot at all. The problem only affects users of AVG 8 products running the Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish language versions of Windows XP. AVG immediately sent out a corrected update to its customers, including those using the free editions of AVG.

A representative for AVG said, "AVG is actively working to remedy the problem some users are experiencing related to … Read more

AVG flags ZoneAlarm as malware

This post was updated at 3:30 p.m. PDT with comment Check Point.

Grisoft, makers of AVG antivirus, on Wednesday released a new update addressing a false positive in another security product.

On Tuesday, AVG users reported desktops warnings that their desktop was infected with something called Trojan Agent r.CX. Some files within zlsSetup_70_483_000_en[1].exe, a compressed file containing dormant set-up files for Check Point's ZoneAlarm, apparently set off the alarm. The ZoneAlarm user forum soon filled with concerned users.

Grisoft did not respond to a request for comment.

Laura Yecies, vice president and general manager … Read more