AVG Technologies has announced the launch of the LinkScanner as a free standalone product.
Designed to protect users against random, invisible online threats, it gives an additional real-time layer of protection by looking at the web page behind a link or a web address typed into a browser and analysing whether it harbours a threat.
The LinkScanner also applies this targeted analysis of web pages to search results from Google, Yahoo! and MSN, so whenever users use these search engines, they will see safety rankings for all ‘organic' search results.
In addition, the AVG LinkScanner will scan your bookmarks as well as links contained in instant messages and emails before you open them to ensure they are safe.
AVG LinkScanner aggregates intelligence gained through three channels: a global team of expert human researchers and a network of ‘hunting pots', an intelligent filter for known and suspected threat distribution sites and mechanisms and automated threat encounter feedback, ensuring focus on real-world threats that affect real users, and correlating it in real-time to integrate it back into the threat analysis process to continually improve user protection.
J R Smith, AVG Technologies' CEO, said: “It's our belief that every computer user has the right to basic security protection, regardless of the ability to pay. These dangerous web pages threaten to disrupt the very fabric of the internet as well as how we view and use it, posing an even bigger threat to users than viruses.
“Our 80 million users are already protected by AVG LinkScanner, which has been an essential part of our suite of security products for some time. So now we're making it available to users of other major security software brands, who just don't have the same degree of protection.”
Paul Burke, VP product management at AVG, claimed that many companies will maintain a database of what the current threats are, but the problem is keeping the database up to date.
Burke said: “We have the ability to detect the data in real-time and LinkScanner technology that is free to all, supplement to all security suites to all users – will help users close on transient threats as we know users are not getting protection.
“Web threats are so transient they are near impossible to monitor. If the threat is only one element then we will block the element, but if there are multiple elements on the page it will block the whole page. We can detect things on the page; if we make a detection on a page then we will block it from loading and put a page up that tells the user that the page is suspicious.”