As part of an “overall corporate plan to go beyond computer protection to protecting the people who use computers and mobile devices”, German security vendor Avira today announced the acquisition of San Bruno-based SocialShield. The company plans to roll SocialShield’s social networking protection into the popular Avira Free Antivirus as soon as possible. Earlier this week Avira announced free antitheft protection for Android devices as well as Avira Free Mac Security .
SocialShield lets parents monitor a child’s use of many social networking sites, among them Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Google+. The service’s online dashboard offers specific warnings about dangers such as cyberbullying, dangerous links, and inappropriate friends. Parents can receive real-time email alerts of critical events and, if necessary, dig into full details of the child’s social networking activity. Before the Avira acquisition, the company charged $10/month or $96/year for this service.
“It is Avira’s mission that our users feel free to make new friends, share pictures, and conduct business on the Web without worries or concerns about their safety,” said Travis Witteveen, Avira’s COO for Markets & Operations. Sascha Beyer, COO Products & Technology for Avira, added, “Avira is broadening our security focus from safe-guarding computers to now protecting the people who use them, and that requires us to look beyond viruses and worms and Trojans. The acquisition of SocialShield not only brings child safety technology into Avira’s portfolio, but it also enhances our knowledge of social networking security and our awareness of the risks within the ‘cloud’.”
Principals of SocialShield look forward to increased visibility. George Garrick, President and CEO of SocialShield enthused, “We are thrilled to become a part of Avira.” He went on to say, “With Avira’s existing user footprint, this merger will rapidly accelerate SocialShield’s product leadership as well as give us an entry into many new countries.”
SocialShield will become a component of Avira’s free antivirus. At present, SocialShield is available as a free service from www.socialshield.com.