SBC, Yahoo add security tools to Net service

New service combines antivirus, anti-spyware and parental control tools--and is available free to SBC Yahoo subscribers.

Subscribers to SBC Yahoo broadband can now avail themselves of a free online protection service meant to handle worm attacks and other threats, according to SBC Communications and Yahoo.

The service, dubbed SBC Yahoo Online Protection, was announced Tuesday. It includes anti-spyware features, antivirus tools, a pop-up blocker and parental controls, Yahoo said.

The service is designed to let subscribers see the status of their core online protection tools, Yahoo said, and get notifications with instructions if they need to take a specific action to counter a threat. The service will update itself against the latest virus threats, said Yahoo, which launched the co-branded broadband service with SBC in 2002.

The number of DSL broadband subscribers has been on the rise, outpacing cable growth. This increase has contributed to the growth of problems such as viruses, spyware and other threats.

Yahoo said a recent consumer survey showed that although about 70 percent of SBC Yahoo subscribers realize the importance of protecting their computers from security risks, only 17 percent feel confident about handling such threats.

More than 60 percent of respondents said their Internet usage time would go up if they felt safe from viruses, spyware and spam.