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McAfee all-in-one security suite covers PCs, tablets, and smartphones

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McAfee has launched an all-in-one cross-platform security suite for consumers that incorporates online storage through biometric authentication as well as a host of other security technologies. Equally importantly, the Intel security division is trying to shake up the way security software is sold to consumers.

The McAfee LiveSafe service features a cloud-based "safety deposit box" – Personal Locker – that allows online users to store their most sensitive documents, including financial records and copies of IDs and passports, providing they fit into the 1GB allocated storage space. Users would access their documents through biometric authentication – using voice, face, and device recognition technologies.

This is delivered through Intel Identity Protection Technology, a tamper-resistant hardware authentication mechanism, built into the latest Intel processors.

The cross-device service offers protection for a user's PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets against the latest malware and spam, along with a host of other security technologies, including McAfee Anti-Theft. This aspect of the technology gives consumer the means to remotely lock, disable or wipe a device as well as an ability to recover some data if a device gets either lost or stolen.

The software also offers simplified password management through a facility to securely store usernames and passwords, offering users a means to log into websites with one click.

Intel is trying to make the inclusion of security technologies part of laptop and PC purchasing decisions rather than an afterthought, with big discounts for bundled versions of the technology.

The LiveSafe service will be offered from July 2013 at a special introductory price of £19.99 with the purchase of selected new PCs or tablets. LiveSafe will come preinstalled on Ultrabook devices and PCs from Dell starting on June 9. By contrast, a 12-month subscription for consumers' existing PCs and tablets will cost £79.99.

All this is a big change from offering security software to consumers as part of a 30- or 90-day trial package, offering free-of-charge basic security software packages before trying to get consumers to upgrade to paid-for products, or the frequently criticised practice of bundling trial versions of anti-virus software with third-party security patches.

Despite the new offer, McAfee has no plans to discontinue its traditional consumer and home-office security-suite and anti-virus product lines. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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