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(Pocket-lint) - For a long time, ZoneAlarm was one of the favoured free applications for protecting and monitoring your PC from online theft. So much so that people forgot there was a beefed-up security package that cost money. The end result was an opinion that the company didn’t compare with the likes of McAfee or Norton. However, with the changes now being implemented in this latest version, it’s only a matter of time before that opinion is changed.

Sure, at it’s core Internet Security Suite 6.5 offers antivirus, antispam, antispyware, antiphishing, and firewall protection for your PC, but a number of new tools have been added that we’ve not seen before. In the ongoing war against identity theft, ZoneAlarm has teamed up with identity management solutions provider, Intersection, which will monitor your identity online, make sure than any transactions you’re carrying out are legitimate and should the worse happen and you fall victim of identity theft, it’s there to help you recover it.

Considering this is a free addition to the security suite it’s offering a great deal and is certainly a unique feature we haven’t seen from others. Whether it’s a brave and successful move or a little rash is yet to be seen but we have to applaud the ZoneAlarm for setting a new standard. You’ll even find your Instant Messenger is now monitored, as this is one of the growing areas for fraud and hacking. So, should any rogue addresses not on your contact list try to use or contact you’re account, you’ll be made aware of it.

It’s not only the identity management software that’s new here, as gamers going online will see a slight performance boost as the program, which continues to monitor your online security, will no longer send pops-ups flashing when you’re playing. While this may sound trivial it’s an addition that has been requested by users.

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ZoneAlarm is quickly establishing itself as the leader in firewalls, proving to be more effective than the competition, thanks to the way it monitors activities online. When you’re online, the ZoneAlarm site monitors you’re security level, so is able to send any updates as soon as they are available, saving you time and the need to remember to check for them. On a more basic level, the interface hasn’t been changed, so you’ll still find a clean and intuitive screen with features such as Firewall, Antivirus, and Parental Controls run down the left-hand side of the screen.


Identity theft may not be something that is at the forefront of people’s minds but it is an increasingly common problem. It’s impressive that ZoneAlarm has teamed up with Intersections to help monitor the situation and help reclaim your identity should the worse happen. With this in mind, this package is more than worse considering.

Writing by Mike Browne. Originally published on 2 August 2006.