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EarthLink Invests $2.5 Million In DSL Security

EarthLink Tuesday announced plans to invest more than $2.5 million in firewall software to secure the links of its digital subscriber line customers.

The security upgrade is available for downloading on both MacIntosh and Windows platforms for current subscriber's to EarthLink's DSL services. Customers will receive an e-mail with detailed instructions about how to install the program by the end of next month.

Mac users can download Open Door's DoorStop Personal Edition 2.0, while Windows users can use the firewall protection using Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall 2000.

Mike Lunsford, EarthLink executive vice president of broadband services, said people should not have to worry about their system being subject to malicious attacks from outsiders.

"Security has become one of the top concerns for those considering broadband access, and now all EarthLink DSL customers can feel safer while they're online," Lunsford said.

"It's important that all our DSL customers feel secure, so we've extended this opportunity across the board," Lunsford added. "Whether they're new or existing customers, whether they use a PC or a Mac, whether they're in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York or any of the 50-plus cities we serve."

EarthLink has gone to great lengths to build out its DSL customer base this year. In addition to the firewall software, $59 for Doorstop and $50 for Firewall2000, it also waived the $300 setup fee.

According to subscriber counts taken three months ago, more than 50,000 DSL users currently subscribe to EarthLink's high-speed services.

Analysis by the Yankee Group indicates that approximately 70 to 80 percent of broadband users have had their computer probed, while almost 50 percent of those have been violated by other means.

Van Holmes, EarthLink assistant public relations manager, said the company feels that security is critical to its clients and free support simply means than more clients will take action to protect their computers.



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