CyberMedia Inc. on Thursday launched Guard Dog 2.0, the company's latest version of software that helps consumers protect addresses, credit card information and other personal data as they surf the Internet.
Priced at $59.95 and available now in stores in the U.S. and Canada, the software also lets users block Web sites from sending "cookies," a type of file that can give marketers clues to a user's surfing habits.
As more people hook up to the worldwide network, instances of "identity theft" and other types of electronic snooping are on the rise. The issue of privacy and security over the Internet is becoming an increasingly important issue to consumers and businesses.
The software also prevents Web sites from learning which sites were visited as a PC user hops from site to site. Internet browsers create copies of pages visited and store them on the computer's hard drive, which can then be observed by other Web site operators.
The software, which also has virus protection software, prevents the secret transmission of any personal or financial files by "Trojan horses," harmful programs that masquerade as useful ones.
The release of Santa Monica-based CyberMedia's Guard Dog was originally scrapped after Network Associates Inc. agreed to buy CyberMedia in July for $130 million in cash, a CyberMedia spokeswoman said.
But last week, the companies said they had voluntarily withdrawn then resubmitted their merger reporting forms with the Justice Department, extending the 15-day waiting period for review of the proposed merger for antitrust concerns.
The company then decided to go ahead with the launch, the spokeswoman said.
Shares of Santa Monica-based CyberMedia fell 50 cents to close at $8.31 on Nasdaq.