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Sunday, February 28, 2010

AVG LinkScanner

AVG has resurrected LinkScanner as a free plug-in for Firefox and Internet Explorer. AVG Anti-Virus fans shouldn't fret, though; LinkScanner is still included in the AV suite. The new LinkScanner works much the same as the original one did. AVG's "Search Shield" returns search results from both Google and Yahoo with flags next to them. Green flags on Google indicate a result is safe to click through to, while Yahoo-safe results display no flags. This might have been a configuration error, although rebooting the browser didn't change the results. Links that are unsafe on both search engines will return red flags.
Hovering over a flag provides further details. Green flags show the IP address, the amount of time the scan took, and the date and time of the most recent scan. Red flags highlight the same information, as well as the risk category and the site name. Attempting to click through to a red-flagged page will take you to a warning screen that repeats most of the red-flag information--AVG calls this the "Active Surf-Shield." A small link at the bottom of the red-blocked screen will let you click through, although it cautions users that it will continue to block potentially harmful content.
LinkScanner also offers two "slow down" warnings. The first is yellow with one exclamation point in it, while the second is orange and has two exclamation points. A link at the bottom of the pop-up takes you to the AVG product comparison page. It's notable that LinkScanner didn't slow down search results or click-through page loading times in any perceptible way, and that the new independent version functions just as well as the old independent version. 
AVG LinkScanner® quick facts:
  • There are millions of active AVG LinkScanner® users.
  • AVG LinkScanner® is already an essential and standard part of AVG's security software.
  • One in eight users has been saved from poisoned web pages with AVG LinkScanner®.
How AVG LinkScanner® is tough on threats:
  • Scans the pages behind all the links you click or type into your browser.
  • Scans the results of web searches in Google, Yahoo! and MSN so you know whether a page is safe before clicking on it.
  • Uses the intelligence gathered by a global community of online threat detectors.
  • Analyzes individual pages rather than entire sites because single pages may be threatened.
How AVG LinkScanner® is easy on you:
  • Compatible with current products from other major security brands, so you can continue to use your existing software with AVG LinkScanner®.
  • Runs silently in the background - you won't notice it until a threat is detected.
  • Minimal use of system resources - it won't slow down your computer.
  • Easy to install and run.
  • Protects you immediately without need of a system scan.
  • Automatically updates whenever a new threat is found.
  • Compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista (32 & 64 bit), and Windows 7
  • Works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome (Active Surf-Shield only), and Opera (Active Surf-Shield only) browsers.
AVG LinkScanner® Stay one step ahead of the Data Snatchers
Data Snatchers hide in even the most trusted websites, to steal your personal information: credit card details, private files & your identity.
The Data Snatchers move fast - a page that was safe yesterday may not be safe today - and your antivirus and firewall won't help you.
The most dangerous page on the web may be the one you are about to click on. AVG LinkScanner provides an advanced layer of security against fast-moving, invisible web threats, and hacked web sites. It verifies the safety of web pages you visit, and of links returned from web searches (Google, Yahoo! and MSN), so you know how safe/unsafe a page is at the time you attempt to click on it. It works alongside most current consumer AV and security suite products, delivering an additional layer of security they do not provide. Highlights: Real-time scanning of links you click on, so you can be sure you are protected from the latest hacked or exploited websites. Emphasis on analysis of each web page you visit instead of the web site. Automatic upgrades whenever the threat intelligence network finds a new threat. AVG LinkScanner is available as a free download for single computer, home non-commercial use.
CNET Editor's Note: To learn more about AVG products and to ask questions and receive answers from AVG company representatives, please visit CNET's dedicated AVG Forum.

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