Yahoo!, SBC Integrate Security Tools

Responding to Web users' continued fears over security, Yahoo! and SBC Communications Tuesday announced the launch of an integrated suite of existing security tools for SBC Yahoo! DSL subscribers. The "SBC Yahoo! Online Protection" service includes the usual--anti-spyware and anti-virus tools, a pop-up blocker, and parental controls--in addition to a dashboard that allows subscribers to monitor the status of their preferred security tools and receive automatic notifications with instructions if a specific action to maintain security is needed.

"We've been aware of our consumers' fears and concerns for some time," Stephen Miller, senior group project manager for Yahoo!'s consumer services, said.

Miller cited a recent consumer survey, conducted by Yahoo! and SBC, demonstrating that while nearly 70 percent of SBC Yahoo! subscribers acknowledged the importance of protecting their computers from security risks, just 17 percent felt confident about handling such threats. Over 60 percent of respondents said their time spent online would increase if they felt safer, the study found.

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Miller takes a matter-of-fact approach to online security threats. "This launch should go a long way to bolster consumers' confidence, but we know that as new threats continue to present themselves, we'll have to adjust and address them."

SBC--the second-largest U.S. local telephone carrier--and Yahoo! first announced their strategic alliance in November 2001, and launched co-branded DSL and dial-up services less than a year later. In November 2004, the companies extended their existing relationship. Per their arrangement, Yahoo! receives a cut of revenue for every new broadband subscriber, while SBC gets a piece of online advertising, search, and premium services dollars through Yahoo!

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