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Gateway to peddle security to masses

New services from the PC maker are meant to defend office and home networks from hackers and viruses and will filter out inappropriate Web content for children.

PC maker Gateway on Thursday announced new services aimed at protecting the computers and computer networks of consumers and small businesses.

Companies and individuals have been focusing more of their attention on security lately, and Gateway's new services, available now, are aimed at addressing those concerns.

"These services are apropos given the environment," IDC analyst Roger Kay said. "Security is all the rage, and you can always sell against fear. It's a sign of the times."

Gateway said its services offer big-business security to small businesses and consumers. The services are meant to defend office and home networks from hackers and viruses as well as filter out inappropriate Web content for children.

For small businesses, the PC maker has a $199 package that includes an on-site investigation by a security expert who will provide a report of potential security holes and tips for enhancing security. Gateway will also develop a customized strategy with software and hardware suggestions.

Gateway's $99 consumer package includes software--Norton Internet Security 2002 suite, Norton AntiVirus, Norton Personal Firewall and Norton Privacy Control--and 30 minutes of dedicated telephone support.

Customers who buy a Gateway 910, 930 or 935 server between Feb. 25 and March 31, will get a free on-site security inspection.