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Get ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall 2010 free (today only)

It normally runs $39.95, but you can grab a license today without spending a penny. This version of ZA includes anti-phishing, credit-monitoring, and download-protection tools.

ZoneAlarm Pro protects not only your PC, but also your identity. Check Point Software

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 for this promotion, so you might be able to score it free again next year.)

ZoneAlarm is widely regarded as one of the best firewall utilities on the planet. Look no further than the rare five-star rating at CNET's

In addition to blocking unauthorized access to your PC, ZoneAlarm analyzes browser downloads to prevent malware infections, monitors your credit report on a daily basis, and steers you clear of phishing sites.

The software is compatible with Windows 2000 and later, including Windows 7.

Speaking of which, if you're relying solely on the firewall that's built-in to Windows--well, my guess is you're fine. That's what I do, and at the risk of jinxing it, I've never had a problem. But there's also a firewall built into my router, so I feel doubly protected.

In fact, I'll be honest. I don't run security software at all. I rely on the tools built into Windows and Gmail's outstanding spam-virus-malware filtering. I also use that aforementioned common-sense thing.

That said, my security "solution" isn't for everyone. If you want help keeping your PC (and identity) safe and sound, grab this valuable freebie. The offer expires at the end of the day.

Update: Be sure to use THIS LINK to download the software! It should take you to a page that looks like this. You should not need credit-card information or the like to take advantage of this offer. I've downloaded, installed, and activated the software and was never once asked for a credit card.