Verizon, McAfee Bolster Online Security

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Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and security software vendor McAfee (NYSE: MFE) on Wednesday announced they will partner together to provide an upgraded version of Verizon Internet Security Suite (VISS) to more than 9 million FiOS Internet and high-speed broadband customers.

Company officials said Verizon is the only Internet service provider to offer broadband customers a combination of McAfee's Internet Security tools, which includes McAfee Family Protection and SiteAdvisor technology, in a bundled Internet security suite.

"Our award-winning Windows Internet security suite now becomes even more powerful with world-class security technology from McAfee," Eric Bruno, Verizon's vice president for product management, said in a statement. "We're excited to work with McAfee to provide VISS subscribers with an enhanced, robust security solution that simplifies online protection at home and in the small-business office."

VISS service will include McAfee's standard two-way firewall, antispam, antispyware and antivirus tools as well as McAfee Active Protection -- the security provider's latest technology used to analyze and block possible security threats immediately rather than waiting for scheduled threat updates.

Also, customers will be able to use its SiteAdvisor tool that helps users search and conduct online transactions by providing color-coded safety ratings for Web sites, warning customers of risky sites that could jeopardize their privacy and their home or business computer and helping them search and conduct online transactions more safely.

VISS detects new devices and alerts the customer when those devices connect to their home network and will provide continuous, automatic upgrades for known viruses and other malware.

"Working with Verizon gives us an opportunity to reach more than 9 million Internet users who need protection from the growing volume and sophistication of threats," said Todd Gebhart, McAfee executive vice president and general manager. "We look forward to a long relationship that provides Verizon's users with the best technology and security products, so that they can enjoy a safer online experience."

Facebook last week cut a deal of its own with McAfee, signing a one-year partnership with the security giant to offer Facebook users a free six-month subscription to its security product, and a discounted rate after the trial expires.

The two companies partnered to develop a custom suite of security tools, including a software application, a scanning and repair tool and a spate of education materials to promote safe computing practices.

Verizon officials said its current Macintosh VISS suite will continue to be available to users.

VISS service will remain at its current price of $5.99 a month for up to three computers, $10.98 a month for up to six computers and $15.97 a month for up to nine computers.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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