AOL released a new Active Security Monitor, a program that continuously checks the status of your security applications. The AOL Active Security Monitor is free to download whether you are an AOL customer or not Unlike Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare, a subscription service which provides surprisingly little specific information about the overall security of your PC, AOL Active Security Monitor features an overall security score, with individual security scores for your firewall, antivirus, antispyware, Windows and browsers, wireless, P2P, and utilities apps, along with details regarding each. Unlike OneCare, which provides antivirus and antispyware software, AOL's monitor offers no security applications of its own, but it does provide access to download or purchase security applications online. For a look inside, see our AOL Active Security Monitor slideshow.

Within the interface, click any of the problem areas to see a report of what AOL Active Security Monitor finds wrong with your computer. After AOL Active Security Monitor identifies a problem, click the Improve Score tab to see what you can do to remedy the situation. In many cases, there are links to free services, such as Microsoft Windows Updates and CNET A very cool-looking graph displays the relative score of your PC over a period of days, allowing you to see how well you are maintaining your desktop's security. It also provides a detailed report of the current status of your machine. In addition to seeing the history of your security score, you can trace past alerts and see the guidance provided toward making your computer more secure.