McAfee Security to update antivirus, firewall

McAfee Security, a division of Network Associates Inc., will announce updates to its line of security products in August, including its antivirus and personal firewall software, as well as its system cleaning tool.

All of the new McAfee Security software will sport enhanced user interface designs and will be easier to configure, said Lisa Smith, product manager at the Santa Clara, California, company. The new products will be available on Sept. 15.

First up for revision is McAfee’s flagship antivirus software, VirusScan. The new version, VirusScan Home 7.0, integrates the company’s personal firewall software to give users an even higher level of protection against viruses and worms, Smith said. The software also extends McAfee’s HAWK (Hostile Activity Watch Kernel) features to allow users to scan for viruses in SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) e-mail received in programs such as Outlook Express and Eudora, she said. Also included in the new version is Script Stopper, a tool designed to block the spread of script-based viruses, she added.

VirusScan 7.0 Professional is a more heavy-duty antivirus program that includes all of the features of the Home version, while adding QuickClean Lite, a tool to clean and free up space on disks, and antivirus scanning for PalmOS and other handheld devices, she said. VirusScan 7.0 Home will cost US$49.95, while Professional will retail for $59.95.

McAfee Firewall 4.0, the new version of the company’s personal firewall product, adds Corp.’s Visual Trace software, which allows users to determine the physical location of users trying to connect to their computers, Smith said. is a distinct company from McAfee Security, though they are both owned by Network Associates.

The new version of Firewall also includes more detail in firewall alerts, easier-to-create rules and a basic software security check designed to ensure that all the software on a PC is up to date, Smith said. McAfee Firewall 4.0 will cost $29.99.

The company will also update its QuickClean software, a tool designed to uninstall applications, remove unneeded files and free up disk space. Version 3.0 of QuickClean, a more full-featured version of the QuickClean Lite included with VirusScan 7.0 Professional, will offer users the ability to delete “spyware,” applications that secretly monitor users’ behavior, as well as new file “shredding” options designed to make deleted files unrecoverable, Smith said. Quick Clean 3.0 will retail at $29.99.

Lastly, the company’s suite, McAfee Internet Security 5.0, will incorporate updated versions of VirusScan, Firewall and QuickClean, as well as offering users the ability to detect and delete stealth programs such as keyloggers and Web bugs, another technique used by Web sites to track users’ surfing habits, Smith said. The software will also include tools to block pop-up ads on the Internet and to filter content out of newsgroups, she added. The new suite will cost $69.99.